How about health food shopping this weekend?

How about health food shopping this weekend?
It’s Independence Day. A national holiday; and it’s on a Friday this time around. That makes it three days off together. And for some lucky souls, Monday is also a holiday because of Janmashtmi. Many of you are sure to be going out of town on a trip.

For those unable to travel this weekend, why not use this time to yours and your family’s advantage? So, let’s do a fun activity together. Go shopping with my shopping list, not yours, this time. Junk your regular shopping list and try out the list I am giving you. Use the power of foods to give your body nutrition. Your family will benefit tremendously.

Most of us know that our diets should include fruits, vegetables, fibre, whole grains, beans and legumes. What everyone may not know is which foods contain fibre, which foods good as a source of anti oxidants, which have natural sugar in them, which contain sodium, which are good for energy and do on.

There are two types of fibre, soluble as well as insoluble, both of which are required by our body. High fibre items include all vegetables, whole grains, dried peas, beans, legumes as well as fruits like kiwi, mangoes, pears, apples, peaches, and of course, oats and oat bran.

We need foods that give us energy. According to www.we­bmd.com, the best energising foods are ones rich in carbohydrates. Put these foods together along with low fat protein and high fibre foods for energy throughout the day.

So you need food items like tomatoes, citrus fruits, dried fruits, nuts, whole grains, sweet potatoes and fruits to give your family the energy they need to have a healthy life.

Too much sodium is bad for us. All processed foods contain a slot of sodium. Therefore, one way to control your family’s consumption is to give them a diet low in sodium and rich in potassium. Limit their intake of processed food items. Instead give them foods like raisins, tomatoes, potatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, peas, bananas, beans and lentils.

These days, many of us are suffer from high cholesterol. Because of the stress filled hectic lives that people live, and the junk food that we put into our bodies, is it any wonder that our liver complains? Control your intake of fats and consume only healthy fats if you have to. Foods rich in fibre and plant sterols are the best way to help your body get rid of the cholesterol. These foods can also help you to control the spike in blood sugar which happens every time you eat junk foods, which have no fibre or goodness left in them. Good foods to help you out here are food items like fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, beans, whole grains and food items enriched with plant sterols like granola bars, chocolate, pure orange juice and some cereals. Make sure that if you are buying cereals and granola bars, they have no added sugar.

Our day to day living is fraught with having to battle all kinds of pollutants, not just those from the atmosphere. These are called free radicals and they have the ability to cause immense damage to our immune system. One way to combat the damage done by these free radicals is by having foods rich in anti oxidants. A diet rich in antioxidants can enhance immunity and lower the risk of cancer. Antioxidants include, amongst others, cranberries, blueberries, prunes, plums, strawberries, all beans like black beans, rajma and pinto beans. zz

(The writer is a vegan chef and author of The Vegan Kitchen: Bollywood Style!)

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