Will ‘Meso-Dosing’ be 2019’s biggest wellness trend?

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Do you remember when you were little and your ma insisted you to stay off the chips and eat your veggies?

Don’t we all know this by now, that if you take care of your body, your body will take care of you? Eating healthy foods is the best gift we are giving to our body, that slogs 24/7 to keep us healthy, help us live longer, heal infections, and improve our well being.

The emphasis on vitamins and minerals (read micronutrients) for getting optimal nutrition was passed down from every grandmother to a mother.

I grew up in a home where eating a healthy home cooked meal, very lovingly prepared by my ma and sometimes my grandma was normal. We never ordered a meal from a restaurant, it was always home cooked even for large gatherings.

So along with the usual freshly prepared hot meals a lot of emphasis at home was given to consuming raw fruits and veggies. We ate fruits according to the season it was available in. For instance watermelons, melons, mangoes were all eaten during summer. They helped keep our body cool and gave us the necessary minerals to wade of a host of skin infections.

Today, however times are different.

Due to globalization, many fruits that are seasonal in nature are available throughout the year to be enjoyed whenever we want. For example, living in Delhi I have never eaten a water melon in winters. Everyone knows that it’s a summer fruit meant to cool down your body temperature. So imagine how will it affect my body, if I eat it in on a cold December day? Well I don’t even need to spell it out for you.

What I am getting at is this -It takes all kinds of nutrients to make up a diet. From micro-nutrients like vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids, to macro-nutrients like carbs, proteins and fats, all of these have been focused on by dietitians, doctors and health aficionados alike, and their virtues extolled. And now, just when you think you’ve finally got it down, yet another type of nutrient pops up claiming to be the answer to improved well being. Enter the mesonutrient.

So what exactly is a mesonutrient?

Today’s tech savvy population doesn’t stop at super foods. They want to dig deeper and unearth the ‘super’ in super foods. Hence, the mesonutrient. A mesonutrient refers to the active compounds or antioxidants within the foods that make them so stellar for our health.

But, you know something?

You probably are already having some of the foods rich with mesonutrient and don’t even know about it.

Curcumin

Here’s one mesonutrient you’ve likely heard of! Turmeric has over 200 active compounds, and the key compound to watch out for is curcumin, which has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Ask any Indian chef or mother and they will swear by Turmeric or ‘Haldi’ as we know it. We have been using it in most of our dals , curries, and so many other dishes. Why our ‘haldi ka doodh’ or turmeric milk, fed by our moms to heal our aches and pains is legendary, and something the rest of the world has just woken up to. YEAH,  I am talking about the celebrated ‘Turmeric Latte’ which the westerners are going gaga over!

Lycopene

Found in red foods like tomato and watermelon, lycopene has been found to help protect the skin from environmental damage, strengthen the bones and prevent against prostate, lung, and stomach cancers.

ECGC

Short for epigallocatechin gallate, ECGC is one of a group of plant phenols (also known as tannins) found in green tea that has been found to have the most powerful cancer-preventing benefits.

Anthocyanins

This antioxidant is found in naturally purple foods or often referred to as the nightshade foods, like in blackcurrants, blackberries and blueberries and purple sweet potatoes, as well as some red foods like cherries, pomegranates and cranberries. They have been linked to a wide variety of health claims, including cardiovascular health, increased longevity, cancer prevention and dementia.

Berberines

This mesonutrient is a little harder to come by, as they’re found in foods like golden seal and barberries. “What are those?” you may be wondering—Berberine is found in the roots and stem bark of many plants. This is one mesonutrient that may be worth seeking out in supplement form, as they’re thought to balance blood pressure and have remarkable anti-inflammatory properties.

Saffronal

Yep, you guessed it—this one is derived from the spice, saffron! It’s known for its antidepressant, appetite suppressing and libido-boosting benefits.

So what should you include in your diet on a daily basis
To refresh it up, you can use a pinch of turmeric in your curries or in your warm milk. You can also consume two cups of green tea every day. Include dark green veggies such as spinach, kale and Berries like blueberries and blackberries which are rich in anthocyanins, in your salads and smoothies.

And most importantly, do try to stay away from packaged, processed, junk foods or limit its consumption if you really have no choice. Go for natural organic foods rather than ones made in a factory.

Food fads come and go. All I know is that your health is a sum total of what you eat. Go ahead and increase your dose of mesonutrients and fuel up your gut instincts.

Like literally!

Say yes to health !!

madhavi

Happiness is ….some “Comfort Food”

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Eating is one of the primal sensual pleasures in life. Tucking into steaming hot biryani or a delicious bowl of ice cream can be a real joy and something that makes life really seem worthwhile.

 

Happiness and food are really highly connected, from the pleasure of cooking and eating, to the changes in brain chemistry that food can bring about. We have always eaten for distraction or consolation or just to enhance our sense of well- being.

But after bingeing on the delicacies during any festivity, there are some days the body or rather the soul yearns for “comfort food”. The Oxford English dictionary included a definition of comfort food sometime in 1997, but the idea of feeding ones emotion is far older.

Adults, when under severe emotional stress, turn to food associated with the security of childhood, like grandma’s home cooked meal or mom’s favourite stew or just a simple bowl of  hot chicken broth.

Imagine this -It’s a chilly, rainy winter day and you’re soaked through to the marrow. You had an awfully horrendous day at work, and hey! Look you just noticed a few wrinkles near your eyes. And to make matters worse you got dumped, you got dumped, you got dumped…

What do you do now? Stuff your face, of course.

While the causes of misery might differ, one thing’s for sure — when life turns sour, most of us go for something sweet, or savoury, or plain, no nonsense comforting homemade food. A dish that has restorative properties, has sentimental appeal, and is insanely delicious. Ideally they are soups, stews, mac n cheese, pizzas, pancakes ,egg dishes, French fries, stir fried noodles or fudgey brownies etc. just to name a few.

There seems to be a consistent connection between negative emotions and unhealthy foods. For example, chocolate which has a strong effect on mood, generally increasing pleasant feelings and reducing tension.

We also tend to associate certain foods with members of our family, social gatherings, and people taking care of us. So when we feel lonely we crave for these foods to give us comfort and security.

Loneliness, depression, and guilt or even success, were all found to be key drivers of comfort eating. Foods like ice cream, pasta or mashed potatoes, release energy very quickly into the bloodstream and elevate moods.

Honestly, it’s a bit unbelievable how my diet and emotional well-being are so closely tied. While its different with each culture and people, for me a bowl of hot ramen or a dish made from leftover rice stir fried with some veges and spices aka as Khichdi served along with some fried papadums is my ultimate go to comfort food.

 

What is yours? Leave a comment below and let me know!