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The Benefits of Home Cooking for Optimum Health

Updated on March 9, 2014

The Benefits of Home Cooking for Optimum Health

By: Christopher Lane DC

 Cooking at home is simple and cost-effective, and is the best way to receive all of the nutrients that you need no matter what diet plan you follow. However, shopping for your food can be a daunting task, with all of the misleading ad campaigns and promotion of the over-used terms ‘Organic’, ‘Healthy’, and ‘All-Natural’. I will attempt to explore some of the fundamentals of food selection, cooking at home, and eating a well rounded diet in the following paragraphs.

A key to proper food selection is to eat at least 80% whole foods as the staple of your diet, and select a variety of colors from the fruit and vegetable kingdom that are fresh, local, and verifiably organic. As far as a source of protein, which most would agree is a necessity in our diets, you may want to select organic range-free eggs, meats, and dairy products; and for vegetarians you can buy your beans and nuts from organic sources and cook, sprout, juice them in a variety of ways that are wholesome and nutritious. Furthermore, supplementation may be necessary for optimum health; this is a subject that will be investigated in an upcoming article.

Vegetables are a great source of nutrition and can be easily steamed on the stove. One sauce that tastes good on many veggies, especially on greens, is a mixture of mustard and mayonnaise. Roots such as burdock, garlic, onion, and carrots can be baked in the oven for 20-30 minutes, adding olive oil and sea salt as a flavoring. Salads and raw veggies are also an option, depending upon your physical constitution and climate that you live in. These tend to be harder to digest so chew them well. A good staple to have in the refrigerator, that you can eat raw anytime, are carrots and celery. Sprouts are also a source of protein and the most nutrient dense in the vegetable kingdom. It may be best to choose a different vegetable each time you shop, and not stock up on too many because they may go bad if not stored properly in a plastic / paper bag.

If cooking at home is not for you, remember to chew your food and try to be in calm and relaxed environment for your meals. This doesn’t mean the location as much as the attitude; if you’re stressed out or having an emotional episode, your body is in the sympathetic mode of the nervous system which diverts energy from the digestive organs. Wherever you are and whatever you’re eating, you can take a deep breath and be thankful for the food in front of you. This will put your body in the peaceful parasympathetic mode and allow it to break down the food properly, and be an added benefit for overall good health.

If you follow these guidelines, and eliminate or cut down on packaged and processed food, as well as trans/rancid fats and cooking oils, you will most likely lose weight and have more energy. Always cook oils on a low temperature and use the one’s that can withstand the highest heat such as butter, olive oil, and ghee. Also eliminate ‘Table’ salt as it makes the body retain water, and try to find a source of ‘Sea’ salt like ‘Celtic’ or ‘Himalayan’, that have all of the minerals that your body needs for virtually every biochemical process.

Eliminating processed and most sugars from diet will reduce the burden on your immune system, and also the acidity of your blood which disease thrives in. One soda can have 10 teaspoons of sugar, and aggravate the stomach lining and dilute your stomach acid causing a myriad of G.I.- health related issues. You may want to completely avoid them if you are trying to lose weight and want to stop the risk of becoming diabetic. Alternatives are Stevia, raw (not heated) honey, and unprocessed cane sugar.

If you have food on the table, you are one of the fortunate ones on this planet. As you begin to choose food sources that contribute to your health, as well as the planet that we all share, your tastes and food preferences may change, as well as your outlook on life and your desire to cook your own food. Optimum health pertains to how you feel in body and mind, and a change in diet may affect all aspects of your life in a positive and profound way.

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    • HomeInsights profile image

      HomeInsights 

      7 years ago

      Excellent article! Very detailed and insightful. Most of my meals I cook at home and a lot of the produce I buy are fresh rather than the processed junk that seems to be circulating these days. One thing I would add is to always always always check the nutritional values of products to ensure you get the most benefit from buying them.

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