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If Valentine’s Day is all about expressing our love to the ones we care about, then the best way to begin is by professing love to ourselves. We often take our bodies for granted, and neglect feeding it right. So, this Valentine’s Day, why not resolve to begin practicing a little self-love by making easy but important dietary changes?
An effective way to do that is to simply tap into the wealth of Indian food wisdom we enjoy as a nation. The Indian way of nutrition can help you maintain a holistic diet and nourish your body from inside out.
Begin with these five small dietary changes that will be the perfect ‘self-gift’, result in big outcomes, and help you fall in love with yourself all over again.
Unless we consume a decent balance of flavours, our brain does not perceive that we have received adequate nutrition, and hence isn’t satisfied. Ayurveda believes that balancing all tastes is the key to satisfaction and good health.
Using different spices in our cooking like turmeric, cinnamon, fennel, coriander powder, and garam masala (which is an amalgamation of multiple spices) is a good way to do this. These spices can help you eat foods that have astringent and bitter (and are thus mostly avoided) flavours. Ensure you source your spices right, and opt for spices from a trusted brand that have their natural oils intact, because that’s where all the goodness lies.
India is fortunate to have a staggering variety of pulses. In fact, dals have been a mainstay of nutrition, particularly protein in the Indian way of nutrition. With dals, more is always better, so keep rotating them and try some dals that you haven’t eaten yet. The key is in sourcing dals that are unpolished and have all their nutrients intact for better health.
Good immunity is and can never be a quick fix. It takes time and patience to build it. And the pandemic has taught us how important it is to keep it robust. So, taking that lesson forward, ensure that you include immunity-boosting foods in your daily diet consciously to keep it high.
Turmeric is one spice that has proven inflammation-cutting and immunity-boosting benefits due to the curcumin compound in it. Ensure you have it daily in some form or another. To get the most out of your turmeric, opt for one with 3% curcumin guarantee and has its natural oils intact
The pandemic brought along its own mental health challenges, leaving many frustrated. This is where ‘happy foods’ help boost our happiness hormones and help us cut stress to stay calm. Chickpea is one such unsung happy food hero.
Not only is it packed with antioxidants like vitamins C and E and beta-carotene, it also has loads of heart healthy mineral manganese too. In addition, chickpeas are also loaded with happy vitamins—the B vitamins. Vitamin B1 or thiamine promotes brain and nervous system health, while folate (B9) and B6, pyridoxin help regulate our mood by helping the body make the happiness hormones serotonin and norepinephrine.
I am sure you’d want to eat more of these now so add them to salads and soups, or try hummus and falafel.
You can do this by including more moong dal in your diet. Always opt for unpolished dals from a trusted source. Learn to love it for the resistant starch- it delivers soluble, fermentable fibre which helps boost the good bacteria in the gut. Make gut-boosting a conscious endeavour as a strong gut ensures all round good health. Just ensure that you source it right, such that the moong dal is unpolished. Another way to get it in the diet is to eat multigrain khichdi from a trusted source.
With these small and effective changes, you are all set to celebrate Valentine’s Day like never before!