10 Things You Must Know Before You Eat Your Next Meal | Divya Toshniwal|

Our food habits have changed tremendously in the past few years. Do you remember what kind of food you ate 20 years ago? ( That is if you were born then, if not, ask your parents). 

Let me create a picture for you with a reference to my family's food habits.

Every day we had Roti(Flat Bread), Sabji(Cooked Veggies), Dal(Pulses) or Kadhi, and Chawal(Rice). Then on Sundays, we had special meals like- pav bhaji, chhole bhature, paneer, idly and sambhar,  dhokla, or stuffed paranthas(sometimes if we were lucky we got to eat some Chinese food). And then there were seasonal dishes like Aamras(mango shake) or gazar ka halwa (a sweet dish made of carrots). On very special occasions we went out to eat where we had 2 options to choose from- North Indian and South Indian cuisines. 

Every household in those times more or less had the same structure followed with a few personalization and addition of non-veg, mostly on weekends(for people who ate them).

Back then we did not understand the concept of world cuisines. We did not know pizza, burger, pasta, and all those junk foods that are so common now. Back then our meaning of junk food was only the roadside chat corner serving Pani-puri and Bhel(and a few more regional delicacies).

We had fixed time slot in which the food was served by our mothers and everyone followed the schedule.

Now think about this- How many cancer cases had you heard about 20 years ago? How many people were suffering from diabetes, thyroid, or stomach issues? How many children were diagnosed with serious medical issues? How many low fertility cases did you hear about(look at the no.of increasing IVF clinics)

So what has changed? In my belief, one thing that has drastically changed is our food habits. With so many junk food parlors and cafes coming up, and with their extreme psychological sales techniques ( like the color of walls are kept bright orange, yellow and green which increases your appetite) we have all fallen prey to this lifestyle. 

So, to make you more conscious about your eating habits and to take up healthy eating habits, here are 10 things you must know before eating your next meal:

1. Your digestive system follows the sun: When the sun rises your digestive system also wakes up, when the sun is at its peak your digestive system is also at its peak and when the sun sets, the activity of your digestive system slows down again. This is the reason why our meals are scheduled for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Where breakfast and lunch are heavy meals while it is always suggested to have light dinner. Our ancestors had their dinner by sunset and they did not eat anything after that. 

2. Eating Fresh: Whatever food you prepare should be consumed within an hour of its preparation. The more delay you make, the lesser are the benefits of the food you eat. Many of us in order to save time, prepare meals for one or two days at once but the food that is not freshly prepared loses all its qualities and goodness. 
3. Limiting Salt And Sugar: Eating excessive salt and sugar may also hamper your health. The amount of salt and sugar in natural food works best for your body. Extra sugar makes your food a high-calorie meal and may lead to diabetes, while extra salt retains more water in your body and may lead to the problem of high Blood Pressure. So whatever salt and sugar you add above it is just to build a taste and it should be consumed in minimum quantities.

4. Adding Fruits And Salads: The more you eat your food as nature presents it to you, the healthier it is for your body. To reap the full benefits of natural food replace at least one meal every day with salads or fruits. Eat locally grown and seasonal fruits the most(That means do not eat mangoes from the cold store in the winters or strawberries in summers.)

5. Limiting your food intake: How much food you eat is also responsible for how healthy you stay. It is said that one should fill half of their stomach with food, one-fourth with water, and the rest with air for proper digestion of the meals.

6. No-snacking all day long: It takes at least 6-8 hours for your stomach to digest a meal while meat and seafood can take up to 12 hours. Above that we have a tendency to snack all day long and thus the stomach never gets to rest. So we should avoid snacking in between meals as much as we can. If you still feel hungry take something like liquid diet like juices( fresh juices and not the overly loaded with sugar juices.)

7. One day fast: At least one day in a week, give your system a complete rest. It is best to fast by just consuming water for the day, but if that is overwhelming, you can also choose to have juices and fresh fruits for the day.

Also Read: Secrets of Vedic Fasting (for more details on how you should fast.)

8. Eat 2 or max 3 things in one meal: We Indians have a tendency to prepare grand meals. We need chapattis, rice, dal, curries, chutneys, pickles, curd, and what not on our plates. Do not go for all seven-course meals every day and do not fill your plates with varieties of food. Have only two or a maximum of three items in one meal. Make a combination of rice and dal or chapatti and curry. Have a meal as simple as you can.
9. Eat homemade food: With so many options of junk food outlets and one-click deliveries available, to order food has become a really easy task. Click a few buttons and someone would bring food to your door. This has been one of the major reasons for eating outside food. You don't know how long ago the food was prepared, you don't know what ingredients have been used and you don't know if it was hygienically prepared. It is best to eat a home-cooked meal unless there is no option left ( And the COVID-19 lockdown days have all taught us that it is, in fact, possible to eat homecooked meals.)

10. Understanding your body type: Just like not all products go with all skin types similarly not all food will suit your body type. It is explained in Ayurveda in the form of 'Dosha' - Vata, Pitta and Kapha. If you eat food that does not suit your body type, it would create a lot of troubles inside whether the signs show-off immediately or not. For example, everyone says that milk is good for health, but there are many now who are actually allergic to milk. Not every person shows an allergic reaction to it but the damage done internally builds up to form trouble because milk is not good for everyone's health.

So I hope when you eat your next meal you probably would be more aware of what you are eating and eat appropriately.

What You Eat Is What You Become
vedic secrets of eating healthy


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