Sustainability is one simple, yet strong term that is to be questioned upon when it comes to agriculture and how we eat. In agriculture, this word is used to term the production of food or other plant and animal products using farming techniques and practices that help to preserve natural resources with minimal impact made on the environment. Sustainable agriculture deals with producing healthful food without disrupting future generations’ ability to do the same.
Sustainable eating includes picking foods that are healthful to both, our body and our environment. It involves nourishing our body wholly and completely, providing pleasure but, at the same time preserving the food system for the future.
Why Take so much Pain for Sustainability?
We can benefit from multitudinous ways because of sustainable eating. Sustainable agriculture and eating are regenerative. They result in healthy, thriving individuals and communities, and better, more balanced ecosystems. Such practices ensure that:
Anyone can support sustainable farming by eating sustainably. The first step is to take note of your current eating habits, foods that you buy and the way in which you make a food decision. While this is only the beginning, there are many more things that can be done on your part to support good growing practices and smart food production.
Registered dietitian nutritionists recommend these tips to get started:
Purchase from local markets. Make it a rule to buy foods only from the local farmers market as these farmers are committed to their communities. Shopping at the local market is a pleasure as the farmers there are likely ‘neighbors.’ The money spent at the market stays in your community. RDNs mention the "local economic multiplier effect" — an often-referenced theory of the benefits a local economy receives when recirculating capital by sourcing locally. For instance, if every family in a state spent four hundred rupees a week at a farmers market, it would keep four crore rupees in the state, which may otherwise quickly move out of the state. Every rupee circulates three to seven times before moving out. The concept of farmers market, details of which can be fetched from www.firsteatright.com, is slowly becoming popular with people worldwide.
Grow your own garden. Grow anything from herbs in a pot to tomatoes on a patio or a small plot in your yard. There is nothing that can give you a better understanding of the food growing process that to grow on your own. By doing this, you get a clear picture of the numerous factors involved in making plants thrive, the effort needed to grow blooming plants and the complexity of the process involved. These will definitely affect the way in which you buy, use and dispose food.
Chat about food. Talk to anyone who pays attention to food, be it the farmers at your market, personnel at your grocery store and restauranteurs or other people who are as interested as you in discussing about the ways in which foods get on their plates. You may discover new tips, come across more local, sustainably-minded food producers and providers and learn about new resources.
Choose seasonal foods. Though October is not the season for mangoes, you can still buy it “fresh” during this month. This means that the product is coming from far, far away. So, try to eat foods that are available during every season where you live and you’ll be supporting sustainability.
Drink fresh water. It takes abundant fossil fuel to transport liquids, as these are some of the heaviest items to ship. Stay away from packaged waters and drinks as much as possible. By doing this, you save several natural resources that would otherwise be used for transportation and storage along with handling package waste.
Recheck grocery list. Go for bulk foods, more minimally processed foods and more plant-based foods. All these require less packaging and waste, less energy to produce certain foods and minimal artificial ingredients (those not found in nature) and chemicals in the food system.
Vote with your wallet and your fork. There is no better way than money in which you can affect the direction of our food system and what grocers, restauranteurs and food companies produce and sell. Request your food providers to support local farmers, local producers and sustainable agriculture. Show that you support them through your decision to buy food.
Health is not formed by the health care system nor does it happen by chance. It is what you cook and how you eat all through the year. Food is the connector in life and can elevate a person’s satisfaction levels in life. Knowing these principles, lend a supporting hand to sustainable agriculture and eat sustainably.
Menopause is the phase during which women undergo tremendous bodily changes. Hence, it is crucial that you take care of yourself by readjusting your lifestyle for the better. Eating right and being physically active will make this midlife transition easier.
ABCs of Menopause
Every woman faces this “change of life” during her last period. Women reach menopause at around 51 years of age, but it can happen sooner or later also. Symptoms also vary with every individual. While common symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain around the middle, sleep disturbances and mood changes, some women are lucky enough to pass through this stage of life with no real symptoms.
The cause behind menopause: Hormones. Ovaries produce less estrogen and progesterone, two main hormones needed for reproduction, as a woman ages. Once estrogen levels start decreasing, an early sign of “menopausal transition” is irregular periods in which bleeding is unusually heavy or light. Also, the time between periods may become longer.
Menopause causes Weight Gain
Lowering hormone levels and the natural aging process make it difficult for women in their 40s and 50s to keep the extra kilograms off. Generally, women lose muscle and gain fat around the belly area predominantly. Lifestyle factors also play an important role as menopausal women tend to be less active and eat more calories than required.
There is much more to Menopausal Weight Gain than Low Self-Esteem
Weight gain does not make us feel any good and can cause low self-esteem and discomfort. But it does not stop with just this. The main disadvantages of weight gain are health issues such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and insulin resistance (a condition in which your body cannot use insulin correctly, which can lead to diabetes).
Avoiding a "Midlife Metabolic Crisis"
Strategize a plan well in advance for your body’s natural metabolic slowdown. As with anything in life, there is no shortcut route to weight loss. But, there are ways to avoid a midlife crisis when it comes to a slowing metabolism.
Infertility has become a serious issue worldwide. Though couples cannot curb all the causes of infertility, they can control their eating habits. Moreover, balanced nutrition and a healthy body weight for both partners are significant factors that have a lasting impact on the ability to conceive.
Women and Fertility
To adapt yourself for pregnancy and enhance fertility, it is recommended to maintain a healthy weight and consume foods that will nurture you and your baby in a healthful way for your baby’s nine-month stay in the womb.
Men and Fertility
Even male obesity levels can alter testosterone and other hormone levels which again boils down to the fact that men should also take care of their health and follow a nutrient-rich diet with regular exercise. Overweight and obese men have low sperm count and poor sperm motility. Consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables that contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help create strong sperm.
Stay Balanced on a Healthy Weight
Reducing and maintaining a healthy weight is the simple, yet best way to increase your chances of getting pregnant. Authentic report suggests that 30% of infertility cases are because of weight extremes, which tend to alter hormone levels and throw ovulation off schedule. In overweight women, even a 5% weight loss may improve fertility. On the contrary, underweight women with a body mass index below 18.5 (18.5 to 24.9 is normal) may have irregular menstrual cycles or may stop ovulating altogether. Also individuals participating in high-intensity exercises such as dancing or gymnastics and people having an eating disorder or following restricted diets are often at an increased risk.
Never choose crash diets that can completely deplete your body of nutrients it needs for pregnancy. It is best advised to stick to a healthy eating plan that works in your favor after consulting a registered dietitian nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com.
Reduce Ovulatory Infertility with Iron
Acclaimed studies suggest to choose a diet rich in iron content as in vegetables and supplements that may lower the risk of ovulatory infertility as followed up in the case of 18,500 female nurses trying to get pregnant. Ovulatory infertility is one of the causes of infertility that affects around 25 percent of infertile couples.
Iron-rich vegetarian food includes all types of beans, eggs, lentils, spinach, fortified cereals, long-grain enriched rice and whole grains. Consume citrus fruits, bell peppers or berries along with your meals to enhance vitamin C content for increased iron absorption.
The "Fertility Diet"
A research study in 2007 found that women with ovulatory infertility who followed the “fertility diet” had 66 percent reduced risk of ovulatory infertility and a 27 percent reduced risk of infertility from other factors compared to women who did not follow the diet accurately.
Women following the "fertility diet" chose:
In a nutshell, consuming healthy monounsaturated fats instead of saturated and trans fats, making at least half your grain intake as whole grains and eating calcium-rich foods like dairy will help you to fulfill your nutrient needs and promote a healthy weight.
Aromatic vegetables are used to enhance the flavor of soups, stews, sauces and other dishes worldwide. From mirepoix in France to refogado in Brazil, these aromatics are vegetables that are sought after for their deep, rounded flavor and aroma that arise when heated or crushed. Right from the very common garlic and onions to chilies and ginger, each vegetable comes with its own health benefits and cooking qualities that makes it unique.
Add more flavor to your meal with aromatics instead of increased fat, sugar or salt by following these tips.
Rabbit’s favorite carrots are power houses of beta carotene, which helps to regulate the immune system and reduce the age-related diseases. These natives of Asia and Middle East are a good source of fiber, vitamins C and B6 and potassium. Cooking carrots unleashes beta carotene for better absorption.
Celery is mostly neglected for its “negative-calorie” characteristic. Negative calories don’t exist in reality and if you are still doubtful about such negative-calorie foods, verify their non-existence at www.firsteatright.com. A cup of celery contains 15 calories and nutrients like vitamins A, C and K and potassium. Celery is also packed with quercetin, a flavonoid with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and heart-protecting properties. You can either enjoy raw celery as a crunchy snack or cook it to release its deep, savory flavors.
Chili peppers, native to South and Central America, range from mild to fiery hot with the smaller peppers being generally hotter. This heat intensity is due to the presence of the chemical compound capsaicin, which aids in digestion. Bring on a spicy kick to salsas, sauces and entrees along with the nutritional boost of vitamins A and C by adding peppers.
Garlic, considered to be the most pungent of the alliums, can be eaten raw or cooked in salads, stir-fries, sauces and stews. Eating garlic regularly helps to reduce atherosclerosis and the risk of stomach and colorectal cancers. Again here, the phytochemical content in garlic helps to lower cholesterol and fights against cancer.
Ginger along with garlic and chili peppers is known as the holy trinity of flavors in culinary. Ginger, a native of Southeast Asia and India, is rich in antioxidants such as 6-gingerol, believed to be responsible for reducing nausea and symptoms of vertigo. With its signature spicy fragrance, ginger is used in both sweet and savory dishes for its nutritional content of vitamin C, magnesium and potassium.
Leeks have a mild onion flavor and taste best when cooked. Leeks can be grilled, used in pasta dishes or can be used as the key ingredient in vichyssoise — a French-style potato soup. These aromatic leeks are a natural source of inulin, which supports good gut bacteria and are also great sources of vitamins A and C, folate and manganese.
Onions are an aromatic superstar and are invariably used in almost all the dishes. High concentrations of allyl sulphides in onions double duty fighting heart disease and cancer. Onions are also good sources of inulin, vitamin C, fiber, folate and manganese. Savor these sweet onions raw in salads and the pungent ones in stews, sauces or roasted.
Parsnips were used in ancient times in Europe to sweeten desserts before sugar became available. Parsnips are available all through the year but taste sweetest after a frost. These aromatics should be toasted and caramelized to bring out their natural sweetness and are good sources of vitamin C, folate and fibre. Smaller roots are more flavorful and tender.
These colorful bell peppers are a native to Central and South America and can be roasted, stir-fried or enjoyed raw. Green peppers ripen to red ones and become sweeter. Consuming one red pepper makes us armed with the day’s required vitamins A and C at only 30 calories. These peppers are a great choice for healthy skin and immune function.
Shallots, having a flavor between onion and garlic, were used to flavor French sauces traditionally. Shallots may be cooked whole, oven roasted or finely chopped to season salad dressings. Shallots are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese.
Scallions or spring onions have a sweet, delicate onion flavour. Enjoy these thin alliums raw in grain or potato salads and salsas. Thicker, more pungent scallions can be used in pasta dishes, omelettes and stir-fries.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
+91 7846 800 800
Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.