Food Swaps That Keep Your Body And Mind Healthy
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Quick and easy-to-prepare options, importantly they are not just healthier, but also tastier alternatives.
With long working hours, unhealthy eating habits, and irregular sleep cycles, we all struggle to take time out for ourselves. And in this process, our health suffers the most. Our body keeps giving us signals, but we keep ignoring them.
And then we reach a point, when our body refuses to function normally; we run to dieticians or doctors, only to know that we need to change our diet and lifestyle.
And then we begin to test our will power and patience. After a while, we get bored of healthy food and gravitate towards unhealthy food items. Or worse, we don’t see any noticeable change even after sacrificing our favorite food (even after we starve ourselves) and then in disappointment, we go back to an unhealthy lifestyle. I am sure most of you all will relate to this.
To break this long, unwanted cycle, here I have, some simple and healthier swaps which you can adopt in your everyday routine. They are all quick and easy-to-prepare options, and most importantly they are not just healthier, but also tastier alternatives.
Here they are:
1. Home-Made Butter Over Commercially Available Yellow Butter
Butter is an integral part of Indian meals. Don’t we all love to eat our paranthas with butter? So instead of consuming processed butter, we can opt for tastier, healthier home-made, white butter. Regular processed butter has salt, preservatives and added colours which is not good for health. Another reason that makes white butter better is that it does not contain harmful trans-fat which has been linked with heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
Here’s how you can make white butter at home:
Store malai/cream (you get malai after boiling milk and then letting it cool undisturbed) in your freezer. Take it out after a week or 10-days, put it in a mixer and churn. Let the cream thicken. Add some chilled water and mix for some more time. The cream will start to curdle. Churn for some more time and you will see the liquid residue (buttermilk) separate out from fat which is butter. This takes about 5-7 minutes depending on how powerful your blender/mixer is. You can now sieve out the super delicious white butter from the buttermilk and store it in the freezer.
PS: You can also add herbs or seasoning and use it in sandwiches or baked dishes.
2. Chutney Over Sauce
You love your sandwiches, burgers, wraps, rolls, pakoras, and fries with ketchup right? Do you know that packaged ketchup bottles have very limited amount of tomatoes in them. Ketchup sold in the market (regardless of the brand) contains emulsifiers, preservatives, sugar, thickening agents, acidity regulators, colours et cetera which are not good for health.
So why not go desi here and swap this ketchup with our home-made Indian chutney. It will take a while to get over ketchup taste, but trust me, once you swap it with home-made chutney, you will start to loathe the taste (and even the smell) of ketchup.
Here is a quick recipe to make chutney at home:
- coriander leaves (dhaniya)
- green chilies
- lemon juice
- cumin seeds
Place a bunch of coriander (thick stems removed) in a blender and add 4-5 green chilies, 2-3 garlic pods, ¼ tsp cumin seeds (jeera), salt to taste, and blend it. Now add some lemon juice and your green chutney is ready. You can also add mint leaves (pudina) and raw mango (replacement of lemon juice) to the blend, depending on the availability of ingredients.
My family likes it mildly spicy and thick in consistency. You can make the chutney as per your taste.
3. Saunf and Cardamom Over Mints And Candies:
Well this is a habit that I picked from my Grandma. She always carries this small dibbi (container) in her handbag which contains saunf (fennel seeds) and some elaichi (cardamom) as a mouth freshener.
Both these things are easily available in all our kitchens and instead of carrying this, we buy artificial mouth fresheners and chewing gums which are all full of artificial colors, flavours and preservatives.
Well a simple swap for chewing gums or mouth fresheners is to have - saunf or elaichi, because they do much more than keeping bad breath away.
Fennel seeds contain minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, zinc, manganese, Vitamin C, iron, selenium and magnesium which helps regulate blood pressure, reduces water retention, reduces asthma symptoms, purifies blood, helps in digestion, improves eyesight and has a cooling effect on the body.
Cardamom is rich in various vitamins and micronutrients as well. These include niacin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin A, vitamin C, sodium, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc which helps cure stomach disorders, urinary tract diseases, provides relief from asthma, sore throat and hiccups, is a remedy for nausea and vomiting, and improves cardiovascular health.
Who knew little healthy options like these could have such miraculous benefits?
My_Health_Space is a health and wellness community initiative by Sehar Khanna, where she puts up health tips, and lifestyle habits with a goal to bring about a positive change in people's lives.