Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ways to keep our food healthy

Dear all,

In today's life we come across various research articles published in papers about the crops [hybrid, pesticides, their medicinal effect], kalories consumed, etc. Some opt for organic food. But how much organic they are depends on the recommendation of the regulatory authorities and it varies. Awareness is always good but too much of contradictory articles will only leave us

Lack of time due to racing run, has made us just buy and consume whatever available. So let us discuss here and follow some simple rules with the crops available in the market to make it as much healthy as possible to eat. Many of the things, we know. Its just like brush up.

What we need to do to keep our food healthy:-

  1. Devotion
  2. Time
  3. Awareness
  4. Memory of what we leant
  5. Action
I divide the process of making our food healthy as follows :-

1. Selection
2. Storage
3. Washing & cutting
4. Cooking
5. Eating

     Let us see each of the above process in detail

    Whether it’s a fruit or vegetable, the selection process is very important. I have heard in medias during my childhood days that shapes of the vegetable we eat is good to the organs they resemble in our body, e.g., Bitter gourd for pancreas, Drumstick for nerves and so on.

    1. The skin should be smooth without any cuts.
    2. Should look fresh.
    3. If you find a hole made by an insect, that means it doesn’t have much of pesticides. If there would have been pesticide then there is no room for insects!
    4. Colour is an important factor. Many vendors add aritificial colouring agent to give the veggies a fresh look. Hence if you find them extremely colour, give the benefit of doubt. Immersing them in water will show whether the colour is natural or not. Added colours will come out and colour the water. This type of colouring is done mostly with veggies like Carrot, greenpeas, parwal
    5. If you find the country vegetables especially tomato, brinjal, potato, please go in for it as they are more healthy compared to the hybrid ones
    6. For root vegetables like carrot, raddish, beetroot, if you get them with leaves, the leaves will show you how fresh they are. The root as well as leaves can be used in your curry / subzi.

    Storing :-

    Irrespective the quantity you buy, storing is an important process to save your health as well as wastage     

    1. Always buy them as per the requirement and frequently. As the veggies or the fruits takes few days time to reach our hands from the production place. So they are not very fresh. Hence buy it every two to three days. If you cannot avoid bulk buying due to lack of time, take care in storing them atleast.
    2. After coming home, immediately segregate & clean them e.g. for cauliflower, you can cut the hard stems, remove roots of coriander leaves or any greens – this will save the space for you and help keeping the storage compartment clean.
    3. Washing, drying them completely and then storing in refrigerator is a good habit.
    4. Store them in separate cloth / netted bags (this will help in ventilation)
    5. Every day, take them out. Wipe them with a dry cloth (to remove the moisture content which leads to decaying) and putting them back in the bag. This is just a 10 minutes process.
    6. Curry leaves can be stores as sprigs in a steel container by putting a tissue at the bottom and this will keep them fresh for even 3 weeks.
    7. Green chillies : remove the stalk. Place a paper or tissue on the bottom of the container and store them. This will keep them fresh for 3 weeks.
    8. Coriander Leaves – clean them, remove the roots. Place them in a container with a tissue at the base and at the top. Excess moisture will be absorbed and will keep them fresh for a week. There are other methods too. Placing them in a jar of water.
    9. Do not store apple in refrigerator as the gas emits will spoil the other veggies / fruits too. Its always better to store fruits outside with a netted cover (preventing flies) and buy them evey 2 – 3 days time.
    10. Bananas can be stored for long time, if they are hung in a thread like they do here in shops.

    Washing & Chopping :-

    1. As much as possible, wash the vegetables thoroughly using your finger and palms and then cut them. (The water used for washing & the peels can be fed to the plants your grow). Even leafy ones, after removing the roots, wash them thoroughly and then cut them. Because if a cut vegetable is washed it loses some of its nutrients and then again in cooking process.
    2. Cut into medium sized pieces. This will help saving the nutrients for us in the cooking process.
    3. As much as possible, cut vegetable just before cooking. Storing of cut vegetables though may sound convenient but not a healthy habit.

    Eating :-

    1. Not just having raw vegetable / fruit salad is healthy.
    2. Take food when they are in warm temperature. Cold food is not an healthy option.
    3. ‘Eat to live ; don’t live to eat’ is a saying. This will keep one healthy. we have to devote some time in eating our food. Chewing them properly will ease the work of the stomach and helps the digestive process.
    4. Eat atleast two hours before you go to sleep. This will again help the digestion process. Prevents the workload to your digestive organs.Also help you give a sound sleep .
    5. Always Eat in moderate quantity. Fill half of your stomach with food, the next ¼ by water and the remaining ¼ is for air. This system will give you a good digestive power.
    6. Eating sathvik food helps you keep healthy and calm . Excessive oil or spice will make a treat to your tongue but not to your body / health.
    7. Eat when you feel hungry . Not out of temptation.

    Eat on time. Letting your stomach keep guessing the time of food flow is not good. It has become a trend of today to stay awake till late night and take food as per convenience. This is definitely not healthy. Once you regularize the eating habit, your stomach will automatically set its biological clock. I have observed in coporate world, where people don’t care for health but comfortably finish their conference / meetings and then give the least priority for food. This fuel to health is an important component which keeps you active to accomplish a task . Hence devote for a timely lunch and then continue with your work. ‘If there is a will, there is the way.

  1. Eating together is always good. If children are trained with this habit, it increases the family bonding at dinner table too. If you cannot afford it daily, atleast try practicing it during weekends. This save your valuable time too and let you enjoy your leisure time like others in the family. Ofcourse, the co-operation of family members is needed in this activity.

    1. You are all with your inputs to benefit others.

      Wish you a healthy & happy life
     Live your life to the fullest ensuring no regrets or no 'what ifs' to look back to. Because life is really very, very short.


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