Healthy Ways of Incorporating Fruits and Vegetables in our Diet
Friends so far we have been talking about Energy Generation , Conservation as well as measures to build up a Strong Immune system . I will now in my coming posts and videos discuss in details one by one those factors which govern the above factors which are the foundation of Good Health .
One thing which remains constant and common to all these important aspects of Good Health is eating a Micro Nutrient dense Diet. These Micro Nutrients ensure that the that the Macro Nutrients like Carbohydrates , Proteins and Fats are utilized to their optimum value to generate Energy for maintaining a Healthy physical , Mental and Emotional status .
Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables form the best and least Calorie Dense Source of these Micro Nutrients like Vitamins, Minerals and Phytonutrients. We must have at least 100 -150 grams ( of each fruit) Edible portion of at least two Seasonal Fruits of choice . In the present month of October and November apples, pomegranates,pears , papaya and grapes are great options .Because of greater Mobility and Availability all fruits from round the country as well as from outside country are available round the year . But Seasonal fruits of Local Produce offer Maximum Nutritive Value and Minimum Chemicals for Ripening because they are allowed maximum time for ripening naturally . They are consumed locally and not stored for long periods so are not Plucked Raw.
Fruits are best consumed Early in the day preferably first thing in the day before Breakfast , however care should be taken in case of Fruits like Papaya which can cause Stomach Distress in some individuals when eaten first thing in the day.
We need to be Mindful how our body handles food , each individual Reacts differently and same body can react differently at different times , we just need to be Mindful and Listen and Respect what our body tells us .
Fruits also make very good Midday Snack as the Breakfast is digested by then and eating a fruit helps sustain Energy levels till the Lunch hour . Whether we are actively hungry or not, it’s a healthy habit and way of balancing our Meal and hence Energy Intake .The next good time to have a Fruit is three to four hours after Lunch .Fruits are best Digested and Assimilated when taken on empty stomach or after the last meal is Fully Digested .
Different ways of eating fruits are —
1)Cut and have it in its Natural Goodness , Wash very well under Running Water . Even if it’s a fruit which is Peeled and consumed it should be first well Washed as small particles of Dirt, Microorganism or Wax might enter the fruit through the knife or Peeler.
2)To enjoy the Goodness and Flavour of fruits make a Mix Fruit Chaat and add Black salt, Soasted and ground Jeera , black or white Pepper powder and lots of Lemon Juice. This is a very Refreshing and Fulfilling Mid-day or Afternoon Snack.
3)Adding Citrus fruits to salads gives a very Tangy Flavour , Apples and Pears give a Crunch and Pomegranate add lot of Color and fFavour .
4)Though Sweet Potato is not a fruit but my reason for it’s inclusion is the Sweet Potato and Pomegranate make an Excellent and Nutritious Fulfilling Evening Snack after a hard day at home or office !! Sweet Potato is a rich source of Antioxidant in the form of beta Carotene which gets converted to Vitamin A once consumed. It also is rich in Fibre and a array of Minerals and Vitamins like Iron, Calcium , Selenium, Vitamin B and C !! One medium size Sweet Potato with small bowl of Pomegranate Seeds with spice and Lemon same as Fruit Chaat make a very Healthy, full of satiety value Snack .
5) Making Fruit Custard , Fruit Salad drizzled with Honey and topped with Walnuts and Almonds, as well as Fruit Conserves are various ways of satisfying our sweet tooth as well as adding the goodness of fruits to our Diets .
6)And last and definitely not the least ,various combination of fruits for Milk-shakes and Fruits and Veggies in Smoothies are other Healthy Options .
Different ways of Incorporating Vegetables in Diet to maximize their Nutrient Benefit :-
1) As fruits it’s essential to eat Seasonal Vegetables of Local produce to ensure Freshness and Optimum levels of Nutrient Content .
2) The coming few months are full of a variety of Vegetables which provide Variety in terms of of Color and Flavor . Vegetables in addition to their Micro-Nutrients stores are a very good source of Healthy Carbohydrates and Proteins !!
3) Seasonal Vegetables cooked with Minimal Fat and spiced with liberal use of Ginger and Green Chillies and ample Turmeric Powder minimize the use of salt as they extract the Natural Flavors of Vegetables .
Few points on which , I will elaborate in the coming posts , to be kept in mind while cooking are –
1) Totally eliminate Aluminium Cookware .
2) Use Ghee, Mustard oil or Sesame Oil as cooking medium.
3) Use Asafoetida along with Jeera to temper the vegetables , this adds Flavor as well as makes their Digestion more complete .
4) Try to avoid using too much of Tomato and Onion paste to make the curry as it increases the use of fat to cook and increases the quantity of vegetables consumed per portion size. In a day have at least 250- 300 gms of vegetables – half of which are Raw to take care of the Fibre Content .
5)Raw Onion and Lemon or Vinegar makes an interesting accompaniment with Ginger and Green Chilli added as per choice .
6) Vegetables should be Washed very well and also not washed once they are Chopped.
7) Vegetables should be Cooked in minimum water to retain their Nutritive Value.
8) Beans, Carrots , Peas and Broccoli can be used in a variety of ways .
We will very soon be sharing the recipes for the same .
One very Important Message which should be very well ingrained in our minds is that Eating Healthy in no ways means compromising on Taste . In fact as we continue to eat Whole Foods with their Natural Goodness our taste buds become more and more Sensitive and Appreciative of the Natural Flavors!!