Let’s define what I mean by “nutrients”:
- macro nutrients which the body needs in higher quantities like carbs, proteins, fats and water
- micro nutrients like minerals and vitamins.
Here are my six basic rules for increasing intake of all these essential elements:
Eat food that is prepared fresh. Consume it within 3 hours of cooking.
Do not freeze or deep freeze cooked food. Remember that food begins to decompose at an average rate of 10%+ per hour. After about 3 hours 30% to 40% of its nutritive value is lost. Also, bacteria begin to build up to unhealthy levels. Reheating will kill the bacteria but will not recover lost nutrition.
Cook food in small quantities.
The larger the quantity, more the time required preparing and cooking and therefore greater the nutrition loss before the food even reaches the dining table. Canteen and restaurant food is least nutritive because it is usually cooked many hours before it is served.
Eat your fruits whole instead of cutting to pieces.
Unless you can’t chew (as in after an operation), never ever turn your fruit into a juice. Fruits contain anti-oxidants that oxidize on contact with air (which is why the pulp beings to turn black when exposed to air). When you cut the fruit you are exposing a large part of it to air. And if you make it into a juice then all the oxidants i.e. the most beneficial part of the fruit is lost. Bigger fruits such as melon or papaya should be carved to large slices and bitten into – not cut into pieces. Vegetables should be stored whole – never cut. Wash and cut the vegetable immediately before cooking.
Do not eat food that is not locally grown. You are made up of the soil where you and your forefathers were born – it is in your genes. Fruits, vegetables and animals too are made up of the nutrients from the soil they were grown in. When you consume exotic meats, fruits or vegetable, a lot of these nutrients will be foreign to your body and difficult to digest.
Eat fresh local seasonal food.
Climate, altitude, humidity, wind, soil and water influence our digestive system. Believe it or not your body is mated to the region you were born and live. Nature produces crops that are best suited to the weather, soil condition and animals (includes humans) in the region. Therefore eating fresh local seasonal food ensures compatibility with your digestive system making it easier to absorb the nutrition.
Eat food with a calm state of mind.
An agitated mind impedes digestion. Nothing in our body works independently. Everything is interconnected. An agitated mind impedes the secretion of gastric juices that are required for breaking down the food we eat. And we all know what improper digestion can do. In the blog post about reaching our food threshold level I mentioned that the dining table should be peaceful and quiet. Concentrate on the food you are eating and savor every morsel. I guarantee you will not only enjoy your meal, it will digest better.
In my next blog I shall explain the relation between the state of mind and our body fat. In the meantime, browse our healthy recipes and cook something tasty for you and your family 😉