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The Indian kitchen is a pharmacy in itself since it can offer a wide variety of foods that help treat many illnesses. Eating the right food will go a long way in overcoming health issues. After all, as the old saying goes, ‘you are what you eat.’ Eating healthy food should, indeed, always be your top priority because doing so determines your physical wellbeing.
Here are five selected foods that you must earnestly incorporate into your daily diet to keep lifestyle diseases at bay and stay fit at the same time:
As it turns out, herbs and spices are not just condiments that enliven a dish! They also come with excellent medicinal properties, and it will serve you well to include them in your dishes. Worthy of mention in this category are:
Fermented foods are an important addition to your staple diet because of the probiotics present in them. They help improve gut health and enhance the immune system, which is the prerequisite to a healthy body. The thing with incorporating fermented foods into your diet for therapeutic purposes is that, unlike manufactured drugs, they do not come with side effects. This range of foods includes items such as idli, dosa, handava, kanji, homemade pickles, and curd.
Millets are coarse grains and a repository of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The list includes ragi (finger millet, jowar (sorghum), bajra (pearl millet), jaun (barley), and kodo millet. Millets are a good source of fiber, helping you improve bowel movement and control diabetes and obesity as well. Their high magnesium content helps lower blood pressure, while the potassium content keeps a check on hypertension.
The likes of beans, peas, and lentils come under the pulses category. Rich in protein and fiber, they are certainly a must-have in your diet. Besides, they are also a good source of vitamins and minerals. One effective way to increase your intake of these essential nutrients is to consume at least half a cup of pulses and legumes per day.
One does not need an explanation of the significance of fruits and vegetables. You can find the majority of the nutrients you need for a healthy body in them. The best way to benefit from the consumption of fruits and vegetables is to consume them first thing in the morning and to consume a variety of them. Focus on seasonal and local fruits and vegetables as these ensure maximum nutrients without being artificially modified.
It’s best to eat locally sourced, organic, and seasonal products and steer clear of processed/refined foods. Besides, mindful eating is a habit that must be cultivated, especially in the age of gadgets where a majority of people tend to look at their smartphones or laptops while eating which makes them unaware of what they consume.
Food is also not to be viewed merely as a source of calories. Focussing on the nutritional value of the food you consume rather than the calories can help you enjoy the food and keep you satisfied after a meal. To ensure fruits and vegetables are void of any colouring agents or wax to make them appear fresh, wash them with Apple Cider Vinegar (1 tbsp. ACV in 1-litre water) before consumption.
It is also important to remember that moderation is the key. Avoid overdoing things and consume a balanced diet for a healthy life. One must also consult a certified dietitian or a doctor in case of any health conditions before making alterations to their diet/lifestyle.
Keep in mind that food is just one step in the direction of wellness. You still have to put in conscious effort and take action to inculcate and adhere to healthy lifestyle habits. The proven measures to ensure the same are quality sleep, stress management, physical activity, and body hydration. In addition, it is of utmost importance to take care of your mental health as well. Unmanaged or unchecked levels of stress or strain on the mind have a drastic impact on your physical wellbeing, highlighting the importance of a two-pronged approach towards wellness – physical and mental wellness effort.