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We all have busy schedules which leads us to often cut down on cooking again and again. In trying to achieve that, a lot of the times, we end up eating leftovers. Now, we know that refrigerators can keep our food fresh for more than 48 hours but is it still healthy enough to reheat the food and eat it the next day? Let’s find out!
According to Ayurveda, food should be consumed within 3 hours of being cooked or at most on the same day. No matter how much you are storing your food in air-tight containers, it will not remain fresh the next day.
Subah Saraf Jain of Satvic Movement recently posted an Instagram reel explaining how leftover food is considered Tamasic (mode of ignorance) in Ayurveda and hence, its consumption can make you lazy. Subah went on to explain that according to the Gita, ideally, all cooked meals should be consumed within a few hours of cooking and leftover remnants from the previous day are considered tamasic.
In Ayurveda, tamasic food is basically those food items which lack energy (prana) as it is stale and thus, it makes us lethargic and lazy. Tamasic food lowers the body’s ability to fight diseases and also affects the proper functioning of our immune system. Due to overeating, reheating, leftover or stale food, which was once sattvic food (foods that are light and healthy) can turn into tamasic.
A study published on ResearchGate states that tamasic food increases pessimism, laziness and doubt while sattvic diet is supposed to increase the energy of the mind and produce cheerfulness, serenity and mental clarity.
As explained by the expert, leftover food has little nutritional value, and little to no life energy remaining inside. Consistently eating tamasic food brings lethargy, inertia and dullness in our body. Some studies also show that people who eat leftover food every day develop a higher risk of suffering from clinical depression.
Moreover, traditionally, our grandparents ate everything fresh (straight from the stove to the plate). “The culture of storing foods in the fridge for long, or eating frozen foods has come from the West, and is one cause of rapidly rising diseases,” she adds.
*Try to eat your cooked meals on the same day you cook them instead of storing them for the next day.
*If there is food that still remains, on the same day give it to those who are in need of food.