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Beginners guide to healthy eating

Maybe you looked in the mirror one day and realised that you don’t look as good as you used to. Or you realised that you were putting on weight or were tired of feeling tired!

health and fitness Updated: Dec 26, 2010 17:00 IST
Dr Anjali Mukerjee
Dr Anjali Mukerjee
Hindustan Times

Maybe you looked in the mirror one day and realised that you don’t look as good as you used to. Or you realised that you were putting on weight or were tired of feeling tired! It is usually the way you ‘look’ or ‘feel’ that pushes you to the awareness that all is not well. Your fatigue and depression are just expressions of the way you are eating and living, which upsets your biochemistry.

Most of us are aware that something is wrong with the body, but can’t seem to take action to correct it. Some of us actually need our disease or discomfort to be labelled before we shock ourselves into action (treatment). Some of us do take action, but we lose patience because we don’t see quick results. When a conscientious doctor says to avoid too many drugs and instead cleanse the body and modify eating habits, the patient quickly becomes impatient! To attain good health, here are a few dietary changes that your palate must get accustomed to.

healthy foodVegetables should be the focus of your diet - most of them are alkaline and have a balancing effect. They help reduce acidic conditions. They are rich in chlorophyll, the structure of which is similar to that of blood, and helps in better oxygenation of the tissues. This means better assimilation and better energy production. Leafy vegetables have the highest amount of chlorophyll. Vegetables are rich in minerals and fiber and help to detoxify the body. Raw vegetable juices are denser in nutrients than cooked vegetables.

Keep lemons handy and squeeze them into drinking water all day. Use generously as salad dressing or on dals. They have an alkalizing effect on the body and assist in eliminating toxins.

Always keep soaked almonds in the fridge. They form a good in-between snack. You can also use them in salads instead of croutons. They are rich in protein, essential oils, calcium and magnesium.

Include sprouts in your meals. They are the best foods you can eat. They are energizing, alkalizing and packed with enzymes. The protein in the sprouted grain gets predigested into easily assimilated amino acids and their nutrient density shoots up.

Most people live to eat, though it should rightly be the other way round. And I don’t blame their palates for getting jaded after consuming so much overcooked, excessively salty, mish-mashed dead food. Their palates become insensitive to the subtle flavours of whole, natural food. If you are one of those who identify with this, have no fear! Conscious effort is all that is necessary to re-educate the palate. As you begin eating foods that are closest to their natural forms, your tastebuds will slowly awaken to the glorious sensation that you are treating them to. There is certainly no wisdom in self-destruction, just because you are a slave to your taste buds.

Remember, health is merely the result of a commitment to live a more conscious life.

Dr Anjali Mukerjee is a nutritionist and founder of Health Total, a nutrition counselling centre