Are you taking your supplement N?

    Abdulaziz Sobh

    Why is nature the greatest nutritional power in more ways than one?
    There is an intrinsic link between nature and nutrition. And as we divorce from nature, we also move away from real food and its nutrients that sustain it. Health professionals say that when you are closer to nature, this is what will happen ...

    Needing, not wanting, will determine what we eat
    When we lived in the forest, we were hunter-gatherers, says Dr. V Mohan, a Chennai diabetologist. "People ran after the animals to catch them, and then, they may not have eaten for many days, surviving on berries and nuts," he says. Today, we have lost the connection with the concept of eating when we are hungry due to the artificial concept of time by means of a clock. "People did not say, 'Oh, it's 4 o'clock: it's tea time.'"

    We will work for our food and eat it minimally processed
    Even until a few generations ago, people did physical work to grow their own food and then processed it minimally to extract the best from it. For example, the rice was cultivated and then macerated by hand, so it retained all its essential nutrients: fiber, vitamin B, phytonutrients. Dr. Mohan says that with the advent of the factories, the rice became whiter, more processed. "Every study says that we eat too many carbohydrates and this comes from refined grains, you can only eat some crushed rice by hand, it fills you up. The merchants are happy because it does not get rancid and is less susceptible to pests."

    Local and fresh will be our cornerstones
    In an ideal world, we would all be growing vegetables, drinking them and cooking them right away, says Sheela Krishnaswamy, a dietitian in Bengaluru. When fruits and vegetables are stored for long periods of time, vitamin C is more easily lost, as it is sensitive to heat, she says. The freshest ingredients are tastier and do not have all the carbon miles associated with them (there are no Washington waxed apples). A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that beta-carotene in carrots, peas, and spinach suffered a 50% loss when stored cold. Those stored for the longest time had the lowest levels.

    The supplements will only be for when we are sick
    Healthy people do not need to take supplements. You just need to eat balanced homemade meals and regular. "Eating nutrients in isolation is never a good idea unless prescribed," says Krishnaswamy. "For the nutrients to be bioavailable (readily available for the body to use) and assimilated, the environment needs all the nutrients that interact with each other."

    Less pollution and tension
    Pollution and stress in the city cause the accumulation of free radicals that cause cancer in the body, says Ritika Samaddar, Regional Head - Dietetics, Max Healthcare, Delhi. This results in a hormonal imbalance: there is a lot of adrenaline and other stress hormones pumping, while serotonin and other hormones that produce good mood are depressed. We are more likely to look for unhealthy packaged foods than apples and oranges, which increases the risk of disease. "The moment we are close to nature, the pace is slow, stress levels are reduced, digestion improves, which increases the absorption of nutrients, which leads to a stronger immune system that better combats diseases, "says Rachna Chhachhi, nutritional therapist and certified cancer coach.

    Seasonal products will govern
    We live in an air-conditioned environment. Those in the basement offices do not even know if it's sunny or if it rains outside. This slows down our metabolism, to begin with, says Dr. Prasan Shankar, who practices Ayurvedic medicine in Bangalore. It puts us out of touch with the demands of our bodies and what is right to eat seasonally.

    We will conserve intestinal bacteria
    The intestine is our second brain, both are connected through neurons, hormones, and chemicals that feed each other. When we eat highly processed foods, the microbiome changes says Dr. Shankar. Fad diets and packaged foods are not natural. Think about it: when you see a potato on the plate, you should be able to trace it. You can imagine the potato in the kitchen, the soil from which it was taken, the farmer. A bag of chips? Not that much. "These unnatural diets are associated with a group of noncommunicable diseases (irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease)," says Dr. Shankar. An intestine that is not healthy has also been associated with mental health conditions.

    We will start cooking
    In the city, we do not have time to carefully select the products and cook, so we choose ready-to-cook foods, full of preservatives or plastic containers. "While processed foods wrapped in plastic can become cancerous when exposed to the sun's heat, for fresh fruits and vegetables, the sun is energy." Unless food is rotten or has been manipulated with chemicals to make it look good, 80-85% of fresh produce retains its nutritional value even after traveling long distances to reach its market, "says Chhachhi.

    Gratitude, not greed will take us
    Taking into account what we eat is easier said than done: many of us eat at our desks. "When we eat consciously, we turn our attention to food: who is doing it, its source, its components and how it affects the body and the mind." We observe something deeply: the sunlight, the water, the soil, the farmer ", says Shantum Seth, a master of mindfulness and meditation based on Dehradun. Unfortunately, if you ask a child in the city to think about these things, it can be a bit difficult. "Children think that nature is a place for a vacation, it is consumptive in some way," he says. But eating slowly, chewing food and feeling grateful avoids overeating and helps digestion, therefore, the absorption of nutrients. We will also stop chemistry and harmonize our food in search of profits.

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