Yesterday we discussed about starches and in particular grains. Grains are complex food which put a load on digestion. In addition-
Have a grain based meal and see how you feel. Sleepy and sluggish. Contrast this with a meal high in fruits and vegetables. You will feel light and energetic. The body has directed all its energy to digest the grains and is asking you to take rest.
Today we don’t know where our grains are coming from. Many big agro companies buy up the grains from farmers and it lies somewhere in warehouses for months together. They are fumigated repeatedly. By the time they reach us, it is dead, toxic food. The government is also importing common dals and grains from abroad and the quality is highly suspect.
Agriculture is the biggest cause of climate change as it has changed landuse. It is the biggest cause of deforestation. Most of the land is used to grow grains for animal feed (majority) and a small portion for humanity.
A note about refined grains –
We all love refined grains – white rice and white flour based products like pasta,rava,biscuits,white breads, naan etc. Stripped of the nutritious bran and having lost a lot of fibre, refined grains can be overeaten. Man is the only animal who has taken a perfectly packaged food from nature and systematically processed it to dumb down the nutrition in it. Here is a chart which shows how much of the original nutrition is lost after processing of wheat.
So it is always a wise option to have whole grains as opposed to the refined variety.
Try a test
Take a bowl of white rice and a bowl of whole organic rice. Keep it out for a few weeks. You will see insects in the brown rice but none in the white rice. Even insects are smarter than us!
So let’s look at ways to reduce grain consumption
Having fruits till 12:00 p.m automatically brings down grain consumption.
Have a big salad before having your cooked meal. The raw component should be always bigger than the cooked portion.
We are used to having grains as the main part of the meal. The salad or sabzi is treated as a side dish . Instead make these the main part and reduce the portion of grains.
Root vegetables like potatoes, yams etc can be had as a grain substitute.
You can opt to have grains only once a day or maximum twice a day. The other time can be just a soup and salad. Baked veggies and salad or even fruit platter. Simple food = light body = less cleaning!
Break the food pattern we are used to. Dal-chawal, rajma/chhole-chawal, alu/gobi-roti, potato-dosa, sambar-rice.. these combos have too much starch. Instead opt for chawal-veg curry, veg stuffed roti with veg curry, veg dosa-veg curry. Rice-sambar(without/less dal and heavy on veggies) etc. It seems odd at first but your body will thank you and let you know. Heavy combos can be for occasional indulgence.
The main idea is to reduce the complexity of food. Multi-grains in a single meal is not recommended. All the multi grain breads, biscuits, aatasetc are a big tax on our digestion. It is more a marketing gimmick. They make the food more complex. Instead have a single grain at a time.
For good digestion of grains, they need to be soaked for 8 hours or so and cooked. Germination/sprouting also increases the digestibility of grains.
Flour based products are more difficult to digest then simple grain preparations since it a further level of processing and has made the food denser. Opt for whole grains instead of flour based dishes. If you are having flour based dishes, add a lot of vegetables to it.
Earn your meal – If you had your grain based lunch and did no activity before dinner time, either skip dinner or have something light. Regulation of food and not regularity of food as famous naturopath Dr Arun Sharma says
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