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NAE's annual food and culture festival is back, celebrating the vibrancy and diversity of Hyson Green and Forest Fields. Come along and enjoy delicious dishes from all around the world. Developed with local community organisations, the festival brings together local chefs, dancers, musicians and audiences. Look out for activities led by local young people too!

 

 

 

FOOD STALLS

 

World Food

Discover authentic flavours from across the globe as Women's Culture Exchange present traditional recipes from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Algeria and Sri Lanka. Select a country or try a bit of everything!

 

Screaming Carrot

Based in the heart of Forest Fields, Screaming Carrot present mouth-watering vegan pastries, sweet and savoury.

 

Djanogly Academy

Pupils have been learning all about food and cooking with Chef Rachel Foster. Stop by for some suprise delicious recipes.

 

 

 

Information Stalls

 

Himmah Food Bank

Himmah is an organisation founded by local mosques and was Hyson Green's first food bank. They will be accepting donations of non-perishable food on the day.

 

Oscar Nottingham

Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Information and Support charity Oscar Nottingham present information on healthy eating and raising awareness of support for this condition.

 

 

Time & Date: 7 MAY 2016, 12PM – 5PM

 

Family Activities: 

 

Face Painting

12pm – 5pm

 

Drumming Workshop

1pm – 2pm

 

Rangoli Craft Workshop

2.30pm – 4.30pm

 

Leisure Land Golf

Don't forget to visit our current exhibition and have a go at our mini golf course. Special group and family rates apply!

 

 

 

Live Performances

 

Manushi Dance

1pm and 2pm

 

Djanogly Academy

3.15pm

 

Salmagundi

4pm – 4.45pm

 

ADMISSION: FREE ENTRY

AGE RANGE: ALL ARE WELCOME

 

 

Source: New Art Exchange

In a bid to stem radicalisation in prisons, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta recently announced plans to construct a new prison that would house only extremist offenders. This proposal, however, raised more questions than inspiration for solutions.

 

Immediate concerns relate to how human rights and legal measures will be applied, and whether separating inmates in this way will indeed result in the intended outcomes. President Kenyatta’s plans follow a similar announcement by British Prime Minister David Cameron, which has been met with alarm by prison officials and warnings from British counter-terrorism experts. They argue that such an approach could likely allow extremist groups like the Islamic State to build a command structure in such a facility.

 

 

In contrast, the United States (US) is actively seeking to shut down its prison in Guantanamo Bay due to the ongoing ethical and legal controversy the prison has attracted over the years. ‘Keeping this facility open is contrary to our values. [It] undermines our standing in the world. It is viewed as a stain on our broader record of upholding the highest standards of rule of law,’ president Barack Obama argued while presenting his plans to the US Congress in February. 

 

Currently, Shimo la Tewa GK prison in Mombasa and Kamiti Maximum Security Prison in Nairobi hold Kenya’s largest number of inmates associated with terror offences – this number is reportedly around 240. The former holds approximately 160 suspects accused of carrying out terrorist attacks, radicalisation and violent take-overs of mosques at the coast. These suspects are housed in a separate block. There have been few convictions of terrorist suspects, and it is reported that the Shimo La Tewa prison could be serving as a conduit for recruitment in other prisons across the country.

 

 

In announcing the new prison plans, President Kenyatta argued that such a prison would deter extremist offenders ‘from spreading their venom to vulnerable Kenyans.’ In July 2015, three prisoners had earlier petitioned the national assembly to separate inmates associated with terrorism offences given concerns that prisons were turning into fertile grounds for recruitment and radicalisation.

 

There is evidence suggesting that isolating prisoners in the name of counter-radicalisation is likely to be counter-productive. Instead of curbing recruitment and radicalisation, a facility like that could make it easier for terror groups to establish command and control structures as noted earlier, in addition to elevating such facilities to symbols of martyrdom and oppression to extremist sympathisers. In this way, it could further embolden, fuel and rally support and sympathy for terror groups – in addition to increasing the chances of Kenya being further targeted for its actions.

Another factor is Kenya’s budgetary constraints, which have resulted in overcrowded and understaffed prisons. How a new prison would be funded is therefore an important question. The current prison population is more than double the holding capacity of the system. The population stands at 54 579; against a capacity of 26 687 in 108 prisons across the country. The proposed prison also raises concern around gender considerations and how these will be catered for. Approximately 5.3% of the prison population is female, raising questions around housing female terror suspects and the protection of child suspects of terrorism offences in prison facilities.

 

Kenya ought to consider such plans not only in terms of its approach to counter-terrorism, but also through the lens of its correctional and rehabilitation policies. From both perspectives, these require evidence-based, long-term and sustainable responses. A comprehensive review of imprisonment policies is necessary in terms of international and national human rights obligations, and rehabilitation ‘good practices’.

 

 

Source: ISS Africa

The first registration weekend for South Africa’s 2016 local government elections, which took place in March, saw a number of disruptions due to protest action.

 

On 9 and 10 April, South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) will host the final voter registration weekend before the elections are eventually held. The election date is yet to be announced; but in the run-up, it is important to find out what these disruptions and protests mean for the polls. A vast majority (78.6%) of the new registrations (544 552 people) were from young voters under the age of 30. This indicates a very positive response from young South Africans to the IEC’s call to register, reversing the set image of youngsters being the least to vote.

 

 

By the end of March 2016, a total of 25 535 726 voters were registered. More than half (55%) were female; and 23% are under 30. 52% of young South Africans between 20 and 29 years of age are registered to vote; a low figure compared to 87% of those over the age of 30. Yet only 48% of voters between 20 and 29 years of age voted in the last municipal elections (compared to 58% of registered voters overall).

 

Nonetheless, young people are displaying high and rising levels of activism, as highlighted by the turnout of young people during the #FeesMustFall campaign and other community protests. The reasons for increased activism include deteriorating socio-economic conditions; increased dissatisfaction with government services; growing mistrust in the ability and willingness of government to deliver on their promises; and a larger profile from opposing parties in communities and on campuses. This increased level of activism could also account for the upswing in youth voter registration, and may translate into a greater overall voter turnout.

 

 

The main concern ahead of the 2016 elections is that aggrieved individuals and groups could undermine the process as a way to express their grievances. This development was first observed during the 2014 national elections, when at least six voting stations were destroyed and IEC staff were threatened and attacked in Alexandra and Tzaneen.

 

The number of related incidents recorded during the first registration weekend indicates that this tendency is on the rise. IEC incident reports showed disruptions at 91 voting stations. Most of the incidents involved threats and intimidation against IEC staff or community protests. Around 40 voting stations experienced severe disruptions, forcing the voting stations to open late, close early, or not open at all.

 

The IEC incident reports list disruptions in eight provinces. Their only exception was the Free State, although the Institute for Security Studies’ public violence monitor recorded one incident in Maluti-a-Phofung based on media reports. Nearly one in three incidents recorded by in the IEC occurred in Limpopo province, while a quarter took place in the Eastern Cape, followed KwaZulu-Natal and North West.

 

The most widespread disruptions occurred in Malamulele and Makhado (particularly the area of Vuwani) in Limpopo; affecting 26 voting stations. The complex issues at play here relate to the decision to move certain areas that currently fall under Thulamela into a newly demarcated municipality. The new, yet unnamed, municipality was called for by other groups through extensive protest action – as they felt that the Thulamela municipality does not deliver services effectively to their areas. The area has experienced widespread protests and disruptions from opposing groups in the past year.

 

 

This comes despite attempts to intervene on the part of government from a range of political leaders, including the Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and King Toni Mphephu Ramabulana.

 

Although only 91 out of the 22 569 voting stations experienced disruptions during the first registration weekend, it represents an emerging trend. This confirms research published in 2007, which suggests that many among South Africa’s electorate believe that ‘voting helps and protest works’. Protests are a way to express dissatisfaction with an elected party without having to vote differently; or vote at all.

 

The disruptions may have been even more widespread had it not been for several government initiatives aimed at decreasing protest action during 2015, most notably in Gauteng. One such initiative, launched by the Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, is the Ntirhisano community outreach programme, which aimed to respond quickly to service-delivery grievances in Gauteng. The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs has also established rapid-response teams to deal with grievances in municipalities.

 

It remains to be seen whether the final voter registration push during this coming weekend will experience the same level of disruption. The IEC and the police need to invest in the better coordination of election security and should strengthen their dispute- and conflict-resolution capacity. In addition to enhanced voter registration training, democracy-building initiatives and government responsiveness and accountability need to be improved if disruptions are to be prevented in future.

 

 

Source: ISS Africa

Recently, South Africa have been filled with allegations of state capture by the prominent Gupta family, as a result of their close relationship with South African President Jacob Zuma.

 

Despite calls from various African National Congress (ANC) members and others for the president to step down, his supporters in the powerful National Executive Committee (NEC) have seemingly allowed the president to remain relatively unscathed. While an internal investigation into the issue of ‘state capture’ by the Guptas will be undertaken by ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe, Zuma has yet to be held accountable for his many scandals as president of South Africa.

 

 

A vast majority of the ANC’s voter base is located in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, with almost half of the political party’s votes coming from both provinces. Research conducted by Policy Analyst Jonathan Faull during the 2014 national government election highlighted that the 2016 local government could present a significant challenge for the ANC vote in some of the biggest metros, namely the cities of Johannesburg and Tshwane, and Nelson Mandela Bay municipality.

 

According to Faull, the ANC lost votes in all three metros in both the 2009 and 2014 provincial elections. Provincial votes in Johannesburg dropped from 62% in 2009 to 52% in 2014; in Tshwane from 59.95% in 2009 to 49% in 2014; and in Nelson Mandela Bay from 49.64% in 2009 to 48.81% in 2014. These losses represent only slight decreases in the ANC’s voter base across the three metros, which amounts to 11.25%, 5.25% and 5% loss respectively.

Faull illustrates however, that when the increase in population of all registered voters on the voters roll is taken into account, the number of votes lost by the ANC are stark: ‘20.31% down in Johannesburg, 24.71% down in Tshwane and 9.4% down in Nelson Mandela Bay’. In contrast however, the Democratic Alliance (DA) showed a notable increase over the same period in all three metros, with approximately 48.9% increase in Johannesburg, 35.72% increase in Tshwane and 35.73% increase in Nelson Mandela Bay. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) also won four in 10 votes in Gauteng; a great achievement for a political party formed less than a year prior to the 2014 national election.

 

According to a survey conducted by FutureFact among 3,015 South Africans aged 18 years and older, support for the ANC seems to be wavering under Zuma’s leadership. The survey highlights that support for the ANC has declined from 83% in its 2009 survey, the year Zuma became president, to 67% in 2015.

 

In the lead up to the 2014 national elections, the Institute for Security Studies conducted a study aimed at understanding the voting behaviour of young South Africans (18-24 years old) with 2,010 young people across South Africa. The findings of the study illustrate an emerging generation that is more open to change, and therefore voting differently to their parents.

 

 

As one high-school student from Mpumalanga said, ‘I think voting is very important; and it is important … to vote for different parties and not to stick to one party, because it will take advantage.’ According to another high school student in Limpopo, ‘I feel that some people are stuck in the past and not all of us have experienced what our parents have experienced back then. There should be change. The party that is ruling now has been ruling for a long time. I think we need to see something different.’

 

The Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) first local election registration drive, held on the first weekend of March, saw young people under the age of 30 accounting for as much as 78.6% of new registrations. Among those aged 20 to 29 years old, as many as 5.4 million have registered to vote in this year’s local government election. This group of young people now face challenges of unemployment and access to quality higher education, and they are increasingly frustrated by issues of crime and corruption within government and local municipalities.

 

President Zuma’s resilience in maintaining power under the ANC, despite various scandals, has been illustrated time and time again. What is clear is that the ANC’s image has once again been tainted by corruption scandals surrounding Zuma, and the electorate’s frustrations are growing. It remains to be seen, however, whether this new generation of young voters could present a turning point in this year’s local government elections.

 

 

Source: ISS Africa

South Africa was instrumental in establishing and supporting the International Criminal Court (ICC), so why did the government choose not to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir when he was in the country last June?

 

Bashir is wanted by the ICC on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur.

 

Ottilia Anna Maunganidze, a Senior Researcher in the office of the Executive Director, will discuss the recent Supreme Court of Appeal’s ruling that South African authorities acted unlawfully by not arresting Bashir when he visited the country to attend the African Union summit.

 

The briefing will also cover the South African government’s evolving stance on the ICC and implications of the court decision for the country, the ICC and international justice.

 

 

Source: ISS Africa

The attack on 13 March on the Ivorian resort town of Grand Bassam is the latest in a series of incidents in West Africa the past few months.

 

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has claimed responsibility for the incident which killed 18 people – including three assailants and three special forces soldiers – and injured dozens. 

 

The Ivorian government, long wary of the growing regional threat of violence linked to religious extremism, has responded by introducing a series of security measures along the coast and the country’s borders, as well as at schools and hotels. But is this enough?

 

William Assanvo, a senior researcher at ISS Dakar, will present this View on Africa. During his presentation, he will analyse this latest attack and discuss its implications for the West African region.

 

 

Source: ISS Africa

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Bishop Moses Masamba 2014, Project Riandu Patron

Philip Nucca was a teenager when he came to the UK from Kenya. From his homey kitchen back in Nairobi to the kitchen in an English pub in Sheffield, Nucca has always cooked with determination and an ever-running innovative mind.

 

It was late night when Nucca finally stepped out of the kitchen, having wrapped up an intense dinner rush. There was, however, not a trace of exhaustion on his face, “I don’t really get tired from cooking.” Although not chatty, Nucca projected a relaxing temperament. He had a sniff of the beer I ordered for him and named it immediately. “A sharp sense of smell is important; I need it all the time when cooking,” Nucca tried to elaborate on his remark, “like determining the freshness of meat and deciding on the right spices to go into dishes.” 

 

 

The culinary experience in Kenya is very different from here, especially in terms of heat. “Food in Kenya is a lot spicier, I need to bring down the heat for diners here,” says Nucca with elaboration, “also some of the ingredients we use in Kenya are not easy to find, so I have to find substitutes sometimes.” The experience and memories from Nucca's childhood back home are the main source of his innovation in cuisines. “I never cook with any recipe that’s not my own,” Nucca asserts. His cooking style is much based on the learning from his mother and grandmother, although he never tries to duplicate the recipes. And this style of cooking is usually very spontaneous. “I depend a lot on my instinct, usually I just go with whatever ingredients that I feel could work, and then I’ll just find out if it does,” the proud chef says while casually leaning back against the chair. This is also influenced by his family, “we rarely write down any recipe; we often just go with whatever that feels right.” And now it's the supreme principle in his kitchen. So far, his attempts have seemed to be successful. “Last week I introduced my latest dish, and it was sold out in one day,” says Nucca with a proud smile.  

 

His latest experiment was lamb stew- a Kenyan dish adapted to British taste and with a touch of his own innovation. “I use oregano, we don’t use that back home, but I think it goes really well with lamb.” The stew is cooked with a variety of spices and two types of chillies- green and red- and thus is expected to strike the taste bud with a blow of spiciness. Apart from the stew itself, Nucca also makes a new attempt to the side, replacing the standard potato chips with baked sweet potato mixed with potato mash. “You’d be amazed how sweet potato could enhance the texture and flavour,” says Nucca confidently. And the dish does seem to be a success given the quick sold-out. 

 

Nucca learns from everything that he encounters, be it a recipe, a cooking show or an incredible dish; then out of instinct, his mind starts to run all the probable adaptations to the cuisine. “You’ve got to have passion, to cherish what you do so that you can carry on for a good long time.” To still talk about cooking with such a high spirit after standing in a small kitchen for more than 10 hours, doing nothing but making food, it takes sole passion. 

 

 

Although enjoying the status quo, he has a big picture in mind. His habitual brainstorming for new and unique dishes is a means through which he achieves the ultimate goal- inspiring more tastebuds with mature skills and fresh ideas for cuisines. “This is only my first stop,” the chef's face shines with a hopeful glare. And indeed Nucca has gone back to university to build his capacity in business management since 2015. "This will enable me to run my own catering business and cook for people with adventurous tastebuds."

“Zanzibar,” formerly known as “UK Mama,” is celebrating its 23rd  anniversary this year. And a long history is not the only thing that makes this African-Caribbean restaurant unique; being the first of such kind in Yorkshire also contributes to its prestige.

 

For Godson Ogwudire, “Zanzibar” is a dream come true, literally. The idea of running a restaurant first hit Ogwudire in the form of a dream while he was in the final year of post graduate study. “I studied clinical pathology…nothing to do with food,” Ogwudire said with a hearty laughter. “I didn’t think at all there was any way that I’d run a restaurant,” Ogwudire had never thought of any other prospects until he dreamed of running a restaurant, then he decided to follow the dream and see what would come of it. 

 

Initiating an African-Caribbean restaurant in an English community in early 90s was not an easy task; Ogwudire had to deal with pressure from both his family and the society. “There is no history of culinary industry in my family,” Ogwudire said with a thoughtful expression; to them, running a restaurant while holding a medical degree was unimaginable. Even so, Ogwudire persisted in scratching out his dream with a brilliant business plan. But such a restaurant was an unprecedented attempt and needed more than a piece of paper to take form. The initiation of Zanzibar was a slow stew, which Ogwudire flavoured with “a lot of marketing resolution and faith.” 

 

When finally launched in 1993, the restaurant took the name “UK Mama.” What Ogwudire had in mind was the image of his mother cooking in the kitchen back home in Nigeria, “I remember my mother always singing and happy cooking in the kitchen.” Ogwudire’s mother is the muse for his cooking style and business philosophy, “There’s always love for the food and the people we’re cooking for.” With such value, UK Mama had built a good reputation over years until Ogwudire felt the need to re-identify his business. “People often took us for an Italian restaurant due to the term ‘mama,’” Ogwudire recalled. After a search and brainstorming, UK Mama was re-launched as “Zanzibar,” which bears a denotation that promotes drinks, “we’re letting people know that it’s more than a restaurant, that they can also have a drink here if they want to.” Alongside the literal implication, Ogwudire picked the name with the view to replicating the quality of “Zanzibar-” one of the least polluted places in Africa- in his restaurant. “It’s a beautiful place- homely, full of good food and hospitable people,” says Ogwudire in a vigorous tone. Starting a new page with his business, Ogwudire reinforced his determination, “I want it to be a unique place of Africa in the UK, established for all people- across races.”

 

At ‘Zanzibar,’ members of staff know each other’s tricks. To maintain the authenticity and quality of both African and Caribbean cuisines, all the chefs- including Ogwudire himself- need to cook in both styles properly. “I have to learn the way my chefs know, and they have to learn both styles,” Ogwudire explains his strategy of quality control, which is partly attributed to the fact that he works part time at the hospital a few days during the week, “so that when I’m not around, they can still prepare every dish with consistent quality.” Apart from inclusive proficiency, respect is another key that binds the team. Ogwudire regards his chefs as competent professionals and even leaves his menu open to input, “if they come in with a good recipe that I didn’t know, I would add it to the menu.” Such respect derives from an accommodating perspective, “it’s about realising the heritage that all black people come from the same continent- Africa.” And heritage is inevitably related to the history of slave trade, which caused migration from the continent of Africa to the Caribbean region. Ogwudire explains the cultural aspect in food using the deviation of ‘Jololff rice’ as an example: it was cooked with black eye peas in Africa but turned into ‘rice and peas’ (with kidney beans) over time after reaching the Caribbean. This is how history is reflected in food; deviation is inevitable while traces of common origin can often be found. 

 

 

‘Zanzibar’ takes pride in its authentic cuisines, “the inspiration for our menu comes from my mother, so it’s definitely traditional and authentic.” But in line with the insistence in originality lies flexibility. “Chilies are essential especially to Caribbean cuisines,” but this principle never impedes adaptation; Ogwudire is always ready to adjust the spiciness of his dishes- oftentimes reducing the heat for customers. Still chilies never work alone, not in African-Caribbean cooking anyway, “how you balance different spices with chillies that go into a dish is very important; it affects the aroma and flavour of the food.” “Cooking is like creating art,” Ogwudire believes that ingredients in a dish- as colours in a painting- need to complement one another so as to achieve polyphony to please the taste bud. 

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Breast milk provides optimal nutrition for babies. It has the right amount of nutrients and is easily digested and readily available. However, the rate of breastfeeding is as low as 30% in some groups of women. While some women are unable to breastfeed, others simply choose not to.

 

 

Yet studies show breastfeeding has major health benefits, for both the mother and her baby.

 

1. Breast Milk Provides Ideal Nutrition for Babies

 

 

Most health authorities recommend exclusive breastfeeding for at least 6 months. Continued breastfeeding is then recommended for at least one year, as different foods are introduced into the baby’s diet.

 

Breast milk contains everything the baby needs for the first six months of life, in all the right proportions. Its composition even changes according to the baby’s changing needs, especially during the first month of life.

 

During the first days after birth, the breasts produce a thick and yellowish fluid called colostrum. It’s high in protein, low in sugar and loaded with beneficial compounds. Colostrum is the ideal first milk and helps the newborn’s immature digestive tract develop. After the first few days, the breasts start producing larger amounts of milk as the baby’s stomach grows.

 

About the only thing that may be lacking from breast milk is vitamin D. Unless the mother has a very high intake, her breast milk will not provide enough. To compensate for this deficiency, vitamin D drops are usually recommended from the age of 2–4 weeks.

 

Bottom Line: Breast milk contains everything your baby needs for the first six months of life, with the possible exception of vitamin D. The first milk is thick, rich in protein and loaded with beneficial compounds.

 

2. Breast Milk Contains Important Antibodies

 

Breast milk is loaded with antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria; this particularly applies to colostrum, the first milk.

 

Colostrum provides high amounts of immunoglobulin A (IgA), as well as several other antibodies. When the mother is exposed to viruses or bacteria, she starts producing antibodies. These antibodies are then secreted into the breast milk and passed to the baby during feeding. IgA protects the baby from getting sick by forming a protective layer in the baby’s nose, throat and digestive system.

 

Formula doesn’t provide antibody protection for babies. Numerous studies show that babies who are not breastfed are more vulnerable to health issues like pneumonia, diarrhea and infection.

 

Bottom Line: Breast milk is loaded with antibodies, especially immunoglobin A, which can help prevent or fight illness in your baby.

 

3. Breastfeeding May Reduce Disease Risk

 

 

Breastfeeding has an impressive list of health benefits. This is particularly true of exclusive breastfeeding, meaning that the infant receives only breast milk.

 

It may reduce your baby’s risk of many illnesses and diseases, and the protective effects of breastfeeding seem to last throughout childhood and even adulthood.

 

Bottom Line: Breastfeeding may reduce your baby’s risk of infections and many diseases, including allergy, celiac disease and diabetes.

 

4. Breast Milk Promotes a Healthy Weight

 

Breastfeeding promotes healthy weight gain and helps prevent childhood obesity.

 

Studies show that obesity rates are 15–30% lower in breastfed babies, compared to formula-fed babies. The duration is also important, as each month of breastfeeding reduces your child’s risk of future obesity by 4%.

 

This may be due to the development of different gut bacteria. Breastfed babies have higher amounts of beneficial gut bacteria, which may affect fat storage. Babies fed on breast milk also have more leptin in their systems than formula-fed babies. Leptin is a key hormone for regulating appetite and fat storage.

 

Bottom Line: Breastfed babies have lower obesity rates than formula-fed babies. They also have more leptin and more beneficial gut bacteria.

 

5. Breastfeeding May Make Children Smarter

 

Some studies suggest there may be a difference in brain development between breastfed and formula-fed babies. This difference may be due to the physical intimacy, touch and eye contact associated with breastfeeding.

 

Studies indicate that breastfed babies have higher intelligence scores and are less likely to develop problems with behavior and learning as they grow older.

 

However, the most pronounced effects are seen in preterm babies, who have a higher risk of developmental issues. The research clearly shows that breastfeeding has significant positive effects on their long-term brain development.

 

Bottom Line: Breastfeeding may affect your baby’s brain development and reduce the risk of future behavior and learning problems.

 

6. Breastfeeding May Help You Lose Weight

 

 

While some women seem to gain weight during breastfeeding, others seem to effortlessly lose weight.

 

Although breastfeeding increases a mother’s energy demands by about 500 calories per day, the body’s hormonal balance is very different from normal. Because of these hormonal changes, lactating women have an increased appetite and may be more prone to storing fat for milk production.

 

For the first 3 months after delivery, breastfeeding mothers may lose less weight than women who don’t breastfeed, and they may even gain weight. However, after 3 months of lactation, they will likely experience an increase in fat burning. Beginning around 3–6 months after delivery, mothers who breastfeed have been shown to lose more weight than mothers who don’t breastfeed.

 

The important thing to remember is that diet and exercise are still the most important factors determining how much weight you will lose, whether lactating or not.

 

Bottom Line: Breastfeeding may make weight loss harder for the first 3 months after delivery. However, it may actually help with weight loss after the first 3 months.

 

7. Breastfeeding Helps the Uterus Contract

 

During pregnancy, your uterus grows immensely, expanding from the size of a pear to filling almost the entire space of your abdomen. After delivery, your uterus goes through a process called involution, which helps it return to its previous size. Oxytocin, a hormone that increases throughout pregnancy, helps drive this process.

 

Your body secretes high amounts of oxytocin during labor to help deliver the baby and reduce bleeding. Oxytocin also increases during breastfeeding. It encourages uterine contractions and reduces bleeding, helping the uterus return to its previous size.

 

Studies have also shown that mothers who breastfeed generally have less blood loss after delivery and faster involution of the uterus.

 

Bottom Line: Breastfeeding increases oxytocin production, a hormone that causes contractions in the uterus. It reduces blood loss after delivery and helps the uterus return to its previous smaller size.

 

8. Mothers Who Breastfeed Have a Lower Risk of Depression

 

 

Postpartum depression is a type of depression that can develop shortly after childbirth. It affects up to 15% of mothers. Women who breastfeed seem less likely to develop postpartum depression, compared to mothers who wean early or do not breastfeed.

 

However, those who experience postpartum depression early after delivery are also more likely to have trouble breastfeeding and do so for a shorter duration.

 

Although the evidence is a bit mixed, it’s known that breastfeeding causes hormonal changes that encourage maternal caregiving and bonding.

 

Oxytocin appears to have long-term anti-anxiety effects. It also encourages bonding by affecting specific brain regions that promote nurturing and relaxation. These effects may also partly explain why breastfeeding mothers have a lower rate of maternal neglect, compared to those who do not breastfeed.

 

Bottom Line: Breastfeeding mothers are less likely to develop postpartum depression. They have increased amounts of oxytocin in their system, which encourages caregiving, relaxation and bonding between mother and child.

 

9. Breastfeeding Reduces Your Disease Risk

 

Breastfeeding seems to provide the mother with long-term protection against cancer and several diseases. The total time a woman spends breastfeeding is linked with a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

 

In fact, women who breastfeed for more than 12 months during their lifetime have a 28% lower risk of both breast and ovarian cancer. Each year of breastfeeding is associated with a 4.3% decrease in breast cancer risk.

 

Recent studies also indicate that breastfeeding may protect against metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease and other health problems. Women who breastfeed for 1–2 years over their lifetime have a 10–50% lower risk of high blood pressure, arthritis, high blood fats, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

 

Bottom Line: Breastfeeding for more than one year is linked to a 28% lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer. It has also been linked to a reduced risk of several other diseases.

 

10. Breastfeeding May Prevent Menstruation

 

 

Continued breastfeeding also pauses ovulation and menstruation. The suspension of menstrual cycles may actually be nature’s way of ensuring there is some time between pregnancies.

 

Some women have even used this phenomenon as birth control for the first few months after delivery. However, note that this may not be a completely effective method of birth control.

 

You may consider this change as an extra benefit. While you’re enjoying precious time with your newborn, you won’t have to worry about “that time of the month.”

 

Bottom Line: Regular breastfeeding pauses ovulation and menstruation. Some have used this as birth control, but it may not be completely effective.

 

11. It Also Saves Time and Money

 

To top the list, breastfeeding is completely free and requires very little effort.

 

Bottom Line: By breastfeeding, you don’t have to worry about buying or mixing formula, warming up bottles or calculating you baby’s daily needs.

 

Take Home Message

 

If you are unable to breastfeed, then feeding your baby with formula is still completely fine. It will provide your baby with all the nutrients he or she needs.

 

However, breast milk also contains antibodies and other elements that protect your baby from illness and chronic disease. Additionally, mothers who breastfeed experience their own benefits, such as convenience and reduced stress.

 

As an added bonus, breastfeeding gives you a valid reason to sit down, put your feet up and relax while you bond with your precious newborn.

 

 

Source: Authority Nutrition

Rapid climate change is a major topic in contemporary science, in particular, the role of human actions. This period, in which humans have been actively altering the Earth and its systems, is known as ‘THE ANTHROPOCENE’. Current scientific debate whether human activity warrants formal definition as a new phase in Earth history. I ask, has the planet been altered to such an extent as to leave an irreversible mark on the environment? 

According to Paul Crutzen Anthropocene means the time since 18th Century, when the increase in burning of fossil fuels released large quantities of carbon dioxide, previously stored within the Earth’s forests, into the atmosphere. This carbon dioxide together with methane and nitrous oxide, accounts for the recent spike in temperatures over the last few centuries. 

However, others such as William Ruddiman suggest this time began when humans started farming the land. He argues that Anthropocene began over 8000 years ago, when land clearance for agricultural purposes started the release of CO2 previously trapped within vegetation through activities like slash-and-burn agriculture and livestock grazing. The worry is that these activities will, or have already, led to surpassing of upper planetary ‘thresholds’ which will hinder continued functioning of the earth without negative consequence. 

Slash and burn agriculture: beginning the human-induced release of stored carbon over 8000 years ago

 

So, what is actually happening?

Climate changes naturally in time. The last 2.6 million years, the Quaternary period, was characterised by repeated cool phases, ice ages, with each period followed by warmer conditions. We live in one of these warm intermissions. Increase in temperature is thus not the problem, as this occurs naturally with changes in the Earth’s orbit. The issue is the rate and extent of this increases in temperature.

The most recent assessment report by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) states that between 1970 and 2010, the shallow oceans have warmed about 0.11oC annually coupled with loss of ice on the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, plus ocean acidification. This raises concerns of changing climate as it affects plants, animals, people and places, all of which suffer from accelerated change. 

Consequences: Fauna and Flora

Under current warming, extinction of many of the World’s species is imminent. Rates of species loss exhibit numbers high enough to indicate that, today, we may be in the middle of another mass extinction event, with loss of biodiversity occurring at levels much greater than that which would occur under conditions not influenced by human activity. There have been a total of 5 mass extinctions recorded in known Earth history. Mass extinction is defined as an event where a total of ¾ of species are lost. Today, we could be in a human-enhanced 6th event. 

When climate changes, animals and plants adjust to changes in habitat altered by temperatures. As this occurs, species respond by shifting from where they live. If these climatic changes occur too quickly, these organisms struggle to adjust at a speed fast enough to survive. These species are pushed into a smaller habitat areas, termed as ‘climatic envelope’. Species in warm areas shift poleward as temperatures near the equator increase. However, where do plants and animals living at the North and South Poles go? The simple answer is, NOWHERE!

One of the more well-known animals likely to disappear as a result of global warming: its choice is adaption or extinction

 

In 2002 the Larsen B Ice Shelf in Antarctica, collapsed. An area of around 12.5km2 detached from the main ice shelf, which scientists believe to be the result of dramatic retreat of the shelf in recent years. West Antarctica is showing similar instability. Current polar research is focusing on understanding the changes occurring, and how these relate to global warming. If Antarctica alone melts, it will result in about 60m of global sea level rise, enough to cause drastic change all life on Earth.

 

 The Larsen B Ice Shelf collapse in 2002

As much as the IPCC has advocated the need for action, global powers have been slow to respond. Many promote the need for clean energy, sustainable development and appropriate policy making. By 2050 the Earth’s population will be over 10 billion. These people need food, water and housing. We need to rethink our response to climate change, it requires cooperation between disciplines, and universal collaboration. Scientists, policy makers and everyone else should to act on, and deal with, the consequences.

Emma Cooper is a student at Royal Holloway, London University, in her final year.

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