Forget kale and quinoa! Eating local can curb obesity and aid weight lossPublished on: 20 January 2022, 16:05 pm IST
Eating local means buying and eating food grown and produced closer to your home. With the advent of globalization, people are dashing towards quinoa and kale and forgetting the home-grown millets and bathua saag. You know what we mean! Food grown by farmers and producers in your locality or state needs recognition as it is the healthiest of all.
It is nutrient rich, and not to forget, sustainable too. Let’s put this straight, locally grown food is great! While we don’t advise you to touch the high-water mark, going to that Sunday market to buy your groceries may be enough. Food that grows in the soil that’s next to you is much richer in the nutrients that you need. It can assist you to fight off the daily wear and tear and to strengthen your immune system.
Celebrity nutritionist and health guru Rujuta Diwekar is a huge advocate of going desi in diet. Her videos on social media are absolutely loved and followed by the weight watchers. Over time, she has emphasized on including locally-sourced and regional food items in your diet. She abides by local food items like jackfruit, banana, amaranth, corn, arbi and suran.
Are you wondering what’s in it for you? You may be surprised to know that it may help you shed some kilos off. If you haven’t been living in a cave, you should know that eating processed foods can take your health downhill.
A study published by US National Library of Medicine suggests that consumption of ultra-processed foods may be associated with increased risk of obesity. Not just obesity, but processed food can cause metabolic syndrome prevalence, increase in LDL cholesterol, and risk of hypertension.
Remember, if things are packaged in vibrant colours, they don’t make them viable for you. While you may love to pick up a Washington apple from the supermarket, you forget that it has lost its nutrients while travelling to you!
Therefore, replacing chikoo with fancy berries and green grapes with kiwi is a bad idea. Likewise, move over that expensive extra virgin olive oil and try locally produced sesame oil to add to your vinaigrette for salads.
Here are the benefits of eating local will outweigh your hesitancy:
1. Local food is fresh
If that farm to table feel looks far-fetched, eating local is another way to achieve it. Local produce sold at your weekly ‘sabzi mandi’ may be picked or harvested just a day or two before or on the morning of the market. Once a fruit or vegetable is separated from its source, it undergoes a higher rate of respiration.Therefore, the food you buy from the mart may lose its nutritional potency.
The farmers and food growers who cater to locals aren’t constrained by packing and transporting troubles. Thus, their produce can ensure the highest qualities of freshness, nutrition, and taste. This can help you in cutting the carbs and shedding weight.
2. Local food is tastier
You can’t beat the zest and crunch of freshly picked fruits and veggies! And we can’t deny the fact that the locally grown vegetables you brought are bred for taste. Local food is not coated with chemicals to withstand the long commute therefore, they taste better. And, when your taste buds are merry, you might not run to grab that packet of potato chips. Problem solved!
3. Cuts the double burden of malnourishment
You see some people are obese while others are underweight. This difference occurs due to the deficiency of micronutrients. While obese people are often considered to be brimming with nutrients as they indulge in overeating, they might actually be undernourished. Locally grown food cuts the coexistence of overweight and obesity and undernutrition. This happens because the food you eat is packed with all the essential micronutrients your body needs.
4. Fulfils your nutrient need
The bright tangerines you see in the supermarket produce are grown and processed with its shelf life in mind, and not necessarily its nutritional benefits. Therefore, the food that is transported over long distances is known to lose its nutritional value while waiting to get shipped. However, the locally-produced food is picked when it has ripened fully. Not only do they look rich in colour and flavour, they give your body the highest nutritional value possible.
5. You tend to eat seasonal food
Eating local also helps you pick seasonal fruits because the growers in your area depend on the seasons and soil for their produce. And, it’s a well established fact that consuming fruits and vegetables at the time nature offers them to you is better. Your bodies tend to benefit by the nutrition by absorbing and synthesizing it better. These factors can possibly lead to weight loss.
6. You add diversity to your plate
While making the choice to eat local produce may not always be the most convenient, it is advised. When you commit to eating a local diet, you’ll discover interesting new food items. It will add more textures and flavours and in turn, nutrition to your plate.This will also help you develop appreciation for the food you eat.
While having food on your table in itself is a blessing but having access to freshly sourced food means you’re God’s favorite! On that note, have gratitude and support the local vendors and farmers. Especially now, when they need it more during the pandemic!