The five basic principles for increasing nutrient intake are:
- Eat food that is freshly prepared, and consume it within three hours of cooking. So you should not freeze food for the next day. Don’t deep freeze your cooked food either. If getting fresh food for lunch is not an option, at least make it a point to eat fresh prepared food for breakfast and dinner.
- Cook in smaller quantities if possible.
Food that is cooked in smaller quantities tends to retain more of its nutrition, and the reason for it is quite simple. The greater the quantity of food, the more oil and heat gets used, which destroys most of the nutrients. That is why restaurant can never be as good as home cooked food; in fact there’s no comparison at all.
That’s also why you should carry your own tomato and cucumber and slice them up just before eating. Your on-the-go salad is a much better option, nutritionally speaking, than buying salad from a salad bar.
- Eat your vegetables and fruits whole instead of chopping them up in small pieces, because you lose nutrients from the surface. And needless to say, the larger the exposed area, the larger the loss of nutrients. So eat an apple, pear, or plum full, instead of slicing them into small pieces. If it’s a big fruit, like a watermelon or papaya, that you have to cut, instead of making small pieces that you can eat with a fork, cut big pieces, dig into them, and let the juices flow. It’s messy, but so satisfying! But don’t just take my word for it.
Give it a shot!
- Remain loyal to your genes and eat what you have been eating since childhood. Right from the time when you were in your mother’s womb, your body is used to eating, digesting, and assimilating certain foods. Your body has the enzymes for these foods and you will get the most out of these foods only.
So don’t just chuck your traditions and start eating completely different foods just because the world is a global village and you can eat any type of food that you want to. Eat at least one meal a day that represents your traditional food, and chances are that you will stay healthy and productive.
Eat local and seasonal food. Climate, altitude, humidity, wind, and soil quality, are factors that affect the food that grows locally and also our digestive system.
Ayurveda recommends tweaking your diet according to the changing seasons. If you understand those principles and implement them, nothing likeit. But at the very least, remember to eat seasonal foods.
So eat mangoes in summer because that is when they will taste the best! If you try to preserve them for later just because you want to eat mangoes in winter, they won’t taste half as good, and won’t be half as nutritious either.