Effective strategies for holistic, healthier eating in the New Year

“Complimentary, alternative healing practices are changing the face of holistic wellness across the world. Over thousands of years, human beings have evolved to discover, create, study, and propagate natural medicine and healing practices by utilising their immediate surroundings to combat life threats and win over illnesses. Today, when the COVID-19 pandemic grips the world, people are turning to alternative preventive practices such as yoga and naturopathy, along with conventional measures, to keep themselves safe against Covid,” said Dr Babina NM, Chief Medical Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute.

While alternative therapies promise to treat diseases or ameliorate disease process in a natural way through different practices, diet remains a crucial component of all types of practices to maintain good health.

In the New Year starting, it’s time to make resolutions about eating habits by adapting certain alternative practices that will not only help you stay healthy but even encourage you to continue with your healthy habits.

“Naturopathy believes that the accumulation of waste and systemic poisons is the cause behind the majority of diseases in humans. Therefore, it is crucial that eliminating- and neutralising-food are consumed in sufficient quantities to reduce the waste accumulation in the body. Naturopathy aims to reduce all sorts of harmful foods in the natural dietary pattern and increase purifying fruits and vegetables,” the expert added.

Dr Babina explained that naturopathy also deals with the subject of diet therapy in an elaborative way. It is such an important aspect of naturopathic practice that food is considered as medicine in naturopathy. “The real factors concerned in diet are the proper balance of food, food production, preparation and consumption in accordance with natural requirements. Sugars, starches, proteins, minerals, vitamins and roughage have to be considered, concerning the needs, so that the end result is restoration off good health. When people learn to combine, select, and balance their food according to age, climate, and occupation, it can significantly improve their health and develop resistance to diseases,” she said.

On the other hand, yoga is an activity that incorporates physical movement as well as greater self-awareness and mindfulness, which promotes healthy eating. “Studies suggest that those in a regular yoga practice are more likely to eat more fruits and vegetables, consume fewer sugar-sweetened beverages, fewer snack foods, eat out at fast-food restaurants less often, and have increased levels of high-intensity physical activity than those who don’t practice yoga regularly or don’t do yoga at all. Many people who practice yoga on a daily basis are of the belief that yoga increases their motivation to pick healthy foods, helps them to be more mindful while eating on the quality and quantity, reduces food cravings, and they also receive social support from their yoga community fellow beings to eat healthy food,” she said.

Strategies for holistic, healthier eating

Is choosing the right food enough? The answer is a resounding no, she said. Along with choosing the right food, we must also learn to develop good eating habits. While there are no set guidelines to follow, here are some tips for healthier eating:

Observe what you consume

Observe the diet you are presently consuming. What is it you eat more? Are you consuming too many calories and don’t have the time to burn them? Then probably it’s time to consider eating something that is less fattening and easy for your body to digest. A couple of minutes spent doing some basic yoga postures can also help burn those extra calories.

Include adequate amounts of protein

Proteins are crucial for the body and should definitely be included in the diet. Broccoli, lentils, soybeans, asparagus, and spinach are some protein-rich foods. Low-fat dairy products are also a rich source of proteins. Ensure that the body receives the required amount of proteins daily.
Opt for green leafy veggies

Add green leafy veggies to the diet. They are a rich source of iron, proteins, calcium, and fibre. Green leafy vegetables are easy to prepare and they are quite appetising, too.

Chew the food properly

One of the obvious and easiest ways to digest food is to chew it. A majority of people often eat their food in a hurry and skip chewing their food properly. While what you eat eventually gets digested, but barely chewed food takes more time and tires the digestive system. Besides, the more you chew food, the easier it becomes for the stomach to digest it, and you burn more calories moving your jaw, which will be an added advantage.

Focus on the food

Most people gulp their food while texting or watching television and don’t really keep a count of how much they end up eating. Though the stomach might be full, the brain signals to eat more, and you eventually end up overeating. If you focus only on the food, then you’ll eat only as much as your body requires, and hence better not to have any other activity while eating food.

“A good food habit helps shape a person’s personality, and this is why ancient sages always preferred consuming satvic food. Remember – ‘what you eat is what you become.’ So, adopt good eating habits, choose wisely and develop healthy food habits, which you can continue for years to come to lead a healthy, fruitful life,” she concluded.

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