Gone are the days when plaques were the reason for an epidemic or the reason behind high mortality rates. The modern world has an epidemic of diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, high cholesterol, arthritis and many more lifestyle issues. When we look back at food sadhanas or niyamas followed by our ancestors, it inspires many food practices we have discontinued in modern time. So, let me discuss some of the basic food practices followed by them and try and include them in our lifestyle.
Role Play Of Emotions
Our emotions play a crucial role in how our foods get digested. For example, when you eat desserts, it turns in our digestive tract sour, if you are upset or if you are thinking negative. Hence, we must always maintain the art of silence when having our meals. If you cannot keep quiet, just have gentle conversations around you. Act of sitting directly on the floor in the lotus position and leaning forward to eat from the utensil placed on the ground provides a natural and involuntary action to control the intake of food. The pressure of moving forward restricts the quantity of food being eaten. Many of us do not sit on the floor, and it cannot be practised every day, but we must never eat until that feeling of fullness is there. Always, leave 1/3rd stomach empty after your meals.
Your Hands Can Tell The Required Portion Size
Anjali refers to the volume that can be captured by two hands cupped together. Two anjalis of grain or vegetables from our own hands is designed by nature for our stomach. The rule is two anjalis for each adult in a day and one anjali for a child. This is an excellent way to portion control.
Our ancestors used natural fuel as a source of energy like cow manure or use of coal directly in the food preparation. This had a great antiseptic benefit and use of this form of energy saved nutrients in food. When we use a microwave or a burning stove or an electric stove, we destroy many vitamins and minerals in food. Especially, microwave, it is detrimental to our health. It distorts the structure of food and depletes all of its energy. A gas-burning stove is still beneficial over the microwave.
Use Of Fresh Herbs
Use fresh herbs and spices by hand pounding or stone grinding. Use of ancient stone grinding method enabled cognitive memory in our body; it also removed doshas or purified the environment in the house. For example, when you ground the spices, the aroma in your home purifies the air. Isn’t this a great aromatherapy practise? Also, the use of fresh spices enables to retain its antioxidant properties and making our health better.
Use of pure or traditional extra virgin or cold-pressed oils, homemade ghee, mustard oil, groundnuts oil, sesame oil, coconut oil were the most common oils used by them instead of refined or hydrogenated oils, which are processed commercially. Remember, the quality of oil plays a very important role in our heart health.
Just so you know, ginger is one such herb, that is a common ingredient used in Indian kitchens, to get rid of sore throat. Know how in this video below:
Also Read: 5 Organic Herbs You Must Try
Chew Your Food Well
Chewing is an essential aspect of eating your meals. Did you know when you chew food properly we can digest our food better? Think about how long does it take you to finish your meals? Are you rushing to work and completing your breakfast in less than 5 minutes?
Grandma and Grandpa stored food or cooked foods in earthen pots. This not only kept our food away from parasites but preserved the nutrients in the food. Modern times we use plastic containers to store our foods- Did you know a chemical called BPA from plastic leaches into our food and can cause severe health issues. Our foods should be stored in plastic-free containers and not cooked in aluminium. Think about aluminium wraps and plastic wraps we have been using in our everyday kitchen. Grandma will not relate to these food items. We should use aluminium-free wok, iron kadhai to cook food.
In modern times, even if we embrace some of the above health practices followed by our ancestors, we are one step closer to our health goal.
Read more articles on Healthy Diet