Our food experiences help to define who we are as a person, and bind communities from all corners of the world. So seeking out and preparing healthy food that is naturally good for the family, is one of the best ways to express your love.
Hopefully our children will pass on our nurturing food legacy to future generations. The recent Mum and Me Campaign launched by Elephant Atta recognises and celebrates these ideals.
My own mother used to say that it’s important to always eat healthy food, because it later turns into our thoughts and actions. I couldn’t agree more – because it also turns into memories. It’s sometimes difficult to know how to begin on the journey to good health and well being through food.
So what is a healthy diet and how can we take simple steps in our everyday lives towards achieving it? My overall message is to try and vary the diet by eating as many different food types as possible.
To improve the balance and variety of my diet, I find it helpful to choose staples such as wholegrain rice and wheat and add side dishes of fruit and vegetable salads, sprouted pulses, fresh salsas, pickles, chutneys, nuts and seeds. Main dishes comprising stir-fries, casseroles, soups and curries with many ingredients are another easy way to increase the diversity and, therefore, nutritional value of your diet. I also love to seek out a new seasonal ingredient, or unfamiliar recipe, every week. This keeps meal times fun, and encourages the family to learn about new foods, countries, and ways to cook.
An easy way to check if you’ve achieved a good variety in, say a curry, stir fry or fruit salad, is to do a ‘rainbow’ fruit and vegetable colour test. If there are three or four different colour types (reds, purples, greens, orange/yellows) in your dish, the chances are you are getting a nutrient boost, compared with an equivalent dish made with similar types of ingredients. For an example, our new EA “Aloo Methi Hot Salad” recipe uses sweet potato, as well as white potato with fresh green methi leaves, and is finished off with cashew nuts. Together with the spices, this gives a more flavoursome and nutrient rich version of the traditional white potato and methi hot salad.
I have recently moved to using chakki atta for my everyday chapattis. It gives you all the healthy goodness and whole bran fibre you’d expect from a whole wheat flour, but its texture is beautifully soft and fluffy, similar to that of a white flour because it has been stoneground so finely.
Eating more whole wheat also helps to smooth out big swings in our blood sugar levels. Instead we enjoy a slower, more stable energy release, keeping us full for longer and preventing mood variations and conditions such as diabetes from developing. The higher fibre levels will also keep the digestive system in good shape.
If you would like to try using our Elephant Atta Chakki Gold, for your chapattis and breads, then please visit our bread recipes’ page for the latest recipes and ideas.
The good news is that we can all make simple changes in our eating habits to dramatically improve our health. As we approach springtime, let’s take time to cherish our choices for family mealtimes, and remember that variety is the spice of life!
For more information on the ideas in this blog please check our website or get in touch via Social Media. We would love to hear from you.
Written by Indian Chef Anita Sharma-James for Elephant Atta