Food should sustain us and not consume us. But do we consume food the way we should? Do we eat to live or live to eat? We see some people gorge on food as if there is no tomorrow. We fail to realise that food should be taken in moderation.
The present generation is hooked on fast food, which is actually called junk food. There is abnormal obesity among the youth of today and sedentary habits like use of the computer, iPad and smartphones have only added to the troubles and made youngsters immobile.
Food reflects the culture of a region, place, and even a country. Some special cuisines have been perfected by generations and are considered a pride of the people of that particular region. Then why are we mad about burgers, candies and fried meat when our own Indian cuisine is so healthy, tasty and nutritious?
Any food taken in its fresh form is good for health while processed food is good for nothing. Soft drinks, food packed artificially and maintained with chemical preservatives, invariably cause harm to the body.
Now people all over the world are turning vegetarian and the vegan revolution is taking over many parts of western society but ironically we Indians are succumbing to junk food.
Life has become hectic and there is no time for families to spend time properly together. In this day and age we resort to so-called modern conveniences and health ends up the casualty. Excessive cheese, sugar or fried items may be tasty to the palate but is harmful to the system. Food should be chewed properly and swallowed to help digestion.
Children eat in a hurry and even adults gulp down their food which eventually slows down the digestive process, damaging the inner walls of the stomach.
Fast food is no doubt tasty but after it passes through the stomach and the fat lodges there permanently, it leads to obesity, which is the main cause of diabetes and heart problems.
We should consciously increase the consumption of fresh green vegetables. It is truly nature’s miracle cure for anything and everything. It is very interesting to note how the way people eat has evolved in sync with the geography of the area and the environment. For example, Tibetans whose land is situated at high altitudes with extreme cold climate, consume food which keeps their body warm. Their favourite dish, momos, is made of rice or wheat batter with a hot stuffing inside and is steam cooked. The stuffing inside remains hot though it is cold outside.
Wheat and rice are the staple food in India and Indian cuisine is considered perfect and balanced having survived for over two thousand years. This diet is most suited to our systems.
In Indian villages food preparation itself is performed with care love and devotion. Even while planting saplings and during harvest time people sing to celebrate the good crop. After harvest, while pounding rice or wheat or while preparing various condiments, the people involved sing appropriate folk songs. Food prepared thus harmoniously blends with the human system and keeps the body healthy.
There are so many Indian spices — cloves, pepper, cardamom, asafoetida, black cumin, celery, bay leaf, cinnamon, coriander, methi seeds, garlic, ginger , amla (gooseberry), sesame seeds, turmeric and basil or tulsi — the list is endless. All these spices have a specific curative role to prevent ailments and keep the vital organs in good condition. They help to fight harmful bacteria.
Another tendency is to eat whether one is hungry or not. In order to avoid wastage some people indulge in compulsive eating. Let us realise that the stomach is not a garbage dump.
Stay fit and healthy by eating intelligently and avoid packaged food. That’s the only way to beat the bulge six pack.