Adhering to balanced diet key to healthy living

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 03 Sep 2017 10:30:32

By Shivanjali Verma

If the common public spends half of the amount they normally paid for treatment on keeping their diet balanced, there would be no need to go to a doctor for long. Now the choice is totally of common public whether they want to invest on their balanced diet or spend on costly medicines and treatment.

According to official documents, over 93 lakh children are living in severe acute malnutrition in our country. Nearly half of all mortalities in below 5 years old children are due to under nutrition. Presence of India in the global list of malnutrition-affected countries is really a big challenge for every citizen to cope with. The Government is making all efforts to root out malnutrition from the country. But common public also have the responsibility to contribute in this mission.

The National Nutrition Week is being celebrated across the country between September 1 and 7 to develop an understanding of nutrition among common public. This newspaper has also contacted Food and Nutrition Board to collect useful tips for its readers to make their conventional cooking more nutrition-oriented. Manish Yadav, Incharge of Food and Nutrition Board, Jabalpur said that how food is cooked can have a big impact on their nutrient content. We can preserve nutrient level by applying 3R mantra i.e. reduction in amount of water in cooking, reduction in cooking time and reduce the exposed surface of the food.

Loss of nutrients increases with increase in cooking time and temperature. Skin and outer leaves of vegetables are rich in vitamins and nutrients. Since vitamins dissolve in water, clean the vegetables like potatoes, carrots and radish by scrubbing them. Hence, there is no need to peel them off and the vitamins remain intact.

Leaves from radish or onion are rich in vitamin A, calcium and iron and hence can be used for dishes. All the leftover nutrient rich liquid from veggies can be reused later for vegetable stock and messing flour. Always opt for mixed vegetables. Similarly, multigrain flour and mixed pulses should be used to serve.

Never wash veggies after chopping except cauliflower. This makes vegetable shed its water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C and folate. Boil the potatoes whole with the skin to prevent potassium from leaving the water. Then always cover the utensil to hold in stream and heat. Eat fruits and vegetables raw. Locally grown vegetables used soon after its been picked are best in comparison to stored imported fruits.

To avoid malnutrition among kids, always prefer breast-feeding upto 6 months, and from 7th month, start feeding them with various food. It will help to make them eat all kind of vegetables and also improve their physical and mental health.

We can also prepare substitute of costly cerelac at home. One portion of mixed pulses should be mixed with three portions of any foodgrain like wheat, rice. After proper washing, this mixture should be dried up properly before roasting.
Then after grinding, a healthy substitute is ready. This should be served with jaggery and ghee or edible oil. Then, jaggery should be given to kids compulsorily as it is a rich source of iron, which finally protects the kids from anemia.