Have you ever met someone who wants to be unhealthy? Who unless undernourished, willingly wants to be fat, or gorging on unhealthy? In my experience, all of us want to be healthy, lean and making the right choices in relation to our food and life choices. But with the times we live in, kind of lives we lead, it’s tough, which is why this stays an ongoing process and requires continuous effort. Now most of us buy our products from supermarkets and trust me these visits to supermarkets are treacherous to cross. Sometimes I feel I will need to go in with a blinder, so I can just stick to the brief and not get carried away with so many unhealthy temptations on display. If that’s your struggle too, here are a few pointers for you to safely navigate your way through the supermarket and stocking up healthy in your pantry.
- Start with the fresh produce section, things that grow on a plant rather than being manufactured in one, are always a safer and healthier bet. The more vegetables and fruits on your plate, the better your health. You will be stocking up on all essential vitamins, minerals, good for your heart, easy on the stomach and a whirlwind of healthy in your meals. Go for the green leafy vegetables that you can eat raw, in salads, stir fry them, add them to your smoothies. Yes, you can cook them the traditional way as well. Go for coloured vegetables to entice kids, purple cabbage, red and yellow capsicum and others. Beans and sprouts make for quick, easy and healthy snacks. You will mount up your folic acid and detoxifying your bodies in the process. Garlic and ginger are two anti-inflammatories, pro digestive, flavourful roots that we think should always be in your house.
- Next, when you can, try and buy organic fruits and vegetables. I know they are on the higher side of the price but so is the long-term medication cost, when your immunity is compromised. According to EWG (Environmental Working Group) they listed these 12 items that have the most amount of pesticides, so if not all you should definitely try and replace these with the organic: Strawberries, Spinach, Nectarines, Apples, Peaches, Grapes, Cherries, Pears, Tomato, Celery, Sweet Bell pepper and potatoes, unless you like a little pesticide served in your dish.
- Moving on to the meat section, you want to pick free-range poultry which is hormone (artificial growth hormone given to chickens) and antibiotic free. Just like you don’t want to consume pesticides with your vegetables, you don’t want any additional baggage with meat.
- A basic rule to apply is to avoid things with labels, coz no labels usually signify But we have aisles of canned and frozen products. Always remember frozen is better than canned when coursing through these.
- Lastly, when buying canned or manufactured items as they cannot always be completely avoided, make it a rule to avoid anything and everything which has hydrogenated fats (trans fats) and or fructose corn syrup on the label. These are an absolute no-no if you are aiming to be healthy.
Health is a conscious choice, one that you must keep at, but it gets easier once you accustom yourself. Be a little mindful initially and you will become The Gladiator in the food arena.