Health and Nutrition is something that most people talk about these days, but more important is what they are talking about right or not. Constipation and Piles are two very common conditions but most people don’t actually realize that constipation(Constipation in Hindi) is a problem and can lead to several other issues.
There are a lot of foods that people completely exclude from their diets, because of mere misconceptions. A very prominent reason behind this is we don’t trust what we have been hearing from our elders (who used to be much healthier than us), but we trust people who somewhere somehow decides to write a blog or upload a video saying something based on their personal experience.
The basic idea behind this is, just be natural. Below are some foods that actually help you to remain healthy, prevent constipation as well as have a healthy digestive system.
- Pure Ghee:“Ghee is never a part of our diet” this is a statement that I come to hear very often. But my question is, “why”!People take liquor, eat pizzas, burgers, high-calorie desserts maybe once or twice a week, and they consider it a necessary part of their social life. But they are very happy about not having ghee in their diet. While if pure Desi ghee is consumed within the recommended dosage, it is very good to prevent constipation, beneficial for joints, provides a lot of strength, gives satiety, very beneficial for hair and skin and has many other benefits. The only thing one needs to control is the amount of ghee consumed in a day.
- Coconut/ Extra Virgin Coconut Oil: Fresh Coconut and extra virgin coconut oil have been a part of our tradition since long. They are rich in fats, but the kind of fats they have are good for your digestion, heart, skin, immunity, hormones and overall health when consumed as per the recommended dosage. Many types of research show that having 5 g of extra virgin coconut oil or having a small piece of coconut a day is extremely beneficial for overall well being.
- Oils & Fats: Just think deeply, if fats would have been that bad then why do they form an essential part of our diet. The truth is anything consumed in a proper amount and correct manner is good for maintaining overall well being. Oils such as mustard oil, grapeseed oil etc are anti-inflammatory, prevent digestive tract inflammation as well as prevent constipation.
There are few things that you should remember while consuming cooking oils:
- Oils and fats recommendation in the diet doesn’t mean fried and oily foods. Having fried foods occasionally in small quantities is okay, but having them frequently or in big quantities lead to severe constipation as well as other health issues.
- It is recommended to change the cooking oils after some period of time as different oils possess different properties.
- Oils with a low smoke point should not be heated too much while cooking as they develop trans fatty acids at such high temperatures or when reheated. The best way to consume such oils is simply boiled the vegetables and add little oil later.
If you want to restrict fat because of weight maintenance, avoid having salted butter, cheese, mayonnaise etc on regular basis.
Seasonal Vegetables & Fruits:
People spend a lot of money buying exotic vegetables like broccoli, bok choy, bell peppers, zucchini etc as they are antioxidant-rich and good to raise metabolism. They think these vegetables are much healthier than our gourd vegetables i.e. Lauki, Tori etc. However the fact is adding exotic vegetables for a change is fine, but they cannot be called better than the traditional vegetables. People should eat all kind of vegetables; focus more on the traditional ones as they are fresh and more easily available. Hence there are no chances of adulteration or any kind of processing.
Similarly, it’s not necessary to buy overpriced fruits like kiwi, coated apples, avocados, blueberries etc, just because some people say they are healthy. They are good, but our traditional fruits like Kashmiri Apples, ripe bananas, grapefruits etc are better as they are fresh. Do not buy fruits from shopkeepers who guarantee you over-sweetened fruits, and all their fruits taste similarly over- sweetened.
Then there is a myth that eating fruits like mangoes and bananas is a crime especially for people on the weightless regime, diabetics etc. Whereas bananas are very good for joints, skin, immunity, increasing hemoglobin as they are a very good source of iron, folate, niacin, riboflavin, B6. Mangoes too are good for digestion and bone health. Now, here again, you need to keep a check on the quantity that you are consuming, its good to have them in small quantities. Even a person who is diabetic has controlled sugars and loves mangoes or bananas can have half a banana or 2 slices of mangoes (preferably in the morning time and occasionally).
Fresh foods are always better for digestion and hence they prevent any kind of digestive disorders. Also, fresh fruits and vegetables are very rich in fiber and so prevent constipation.
Milk Products: Milk products are rich in Carbohydrates and Fats and this is the reason why a lot of people exclude dairy products from their diet. However the fact is, milk products are a very rich source of good quality protein, calcium, CLA, phosphorous, Vitamin B12 and various other vitamins too and so are very good for digestive health, boosting immunity, improved bone health, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, weight loss (due to its CLA content) etc. Moreover, milk is considered a complete food in itself. Hence, healthy dairy products should form a part of everyone’s daily diet.
Fluids: People lay a lot of stress over their diet but fail to understand their fluid requirements. That is where they expose themselves to a number of health issues. Your body comprises 60% water or fluids and all body functions are dependent on these fluids, digestion being a prominent one. Insufficient fluid intake not only leads to constipation but it obstructs toxins removal from the body.
Fluid requirement differs from person to person but people should first of all realize that it is important. Then they can themselves assess their requirement for water or fluids per day, it’s not that difficult a task. Include a good amount of water, lemon water, coconut water, buttermilk etc to meet your daily fluid requirement. Avoid fruit juices (even fresh) on regular basis.
Summing up the whole idea, do not restrict foods unnecessarily; just choose the right foods in right quantity.