Do you have questions about food? Why is nutrition important? Or what foods are addictive. Here are the answers to your questions about food.
Food is necessary for living, but most times, we have fears, concerns, or plan curiosity about food. Most times people ask what I should eat. Where should I eat? And when should I eat? Here we will give detailed answers to some of the questions you have in mind
1. Cheapest and healthiest food?
In our journey of life, we come across various types of foods, in the process of eating well and remain fit. We look for the best food to eat that would not cost much but is more nutritious. The great thing is that cheap food is not necessarily unhealthy. Some examples of affordable, but healthy foods are whole grains, vegetables, and beans.
People are getting awareness on the effects of unhealthy eating but assume that it is impossible to maintain a healthy eating habit in Nigeria because it may be too expensive. Healthy eating on a budget may seem hopeless when organic and natural foods are both scarce and costly when compared to the non-organic ones. Great news, to all wanting to eat healthily, you won’t go beyond a budget if you do the following;
A. Think like an ant
The ants get their food in summer, and during winter, they feed on the stored seeds. Get fresh produce when they are in season and store when they will be expensive or scarce. You must also realize that some food products won’t last that long. So, you can even think like ants, by buying food at weekends or two weeks at once.
B. Locally grown Vegetables
Nigeria has a wide range of delicious and affordable healthy vegetables that, with little effort, can be made into nutritious meals. For instance, Ugu is a local Nigerian leafy vegetable used for both cooking and as a medicinal herb. It is rich in calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron and folic acid, vitamins A, C and, K and lots of other minerals. Ugu, also known as pumpkin leaf improves blood count, helps in the management of diabetes and cholesterol levels. It can be added to meals like Eforiro soup, Okra soup, Edikaikong, etc. You can also buy more of other kinds as well.
C. Plan and prep meals ahead
Look at what you have at home and plan around it. Like we said earlier, buy and prepare your food at the weekends. It will save you a lot more over time. You can also help reduce waste and unnecessary expenditures.
D. Bulk buying
Getting foodstuffs in bulk saves money and time. For instance, instead of getting cooking cubes from the retailer, you can buy a whole packet this way; you get more value for your money.
E. Say no processed food
Processed food may seem cheap and stress-free, but at the end of the day, they are just calories on a plate. They have no nutritious value and can be harmful to health. Spend on organic whole and fresh foods that will give your body all its essential needs.
Note: always go shopping with a list and make sure to stick to it.
2. What are snacks? Are all snacks unhealthy?
A snack is a small portion of food usually eaten between meals. It can be fruit, leftovers, food, nuts, sandwiches, etc. Snacks come in a variety of forms, including packaged snack foods and other processed foods, as well as items made from fresh ingredients at home. Snacks were initially prepared from ingredients available at home without so much thought put into it. With the spread of convenience stores, packaged snack foods came into circulation. These are now designed to be portable, quick, and satisfying. Are all snacks unhealthy? Yes and No
Most snacks found in convenience stores are mostly unhealthy; they are designed to last longer and durable than whole meals. These ready to go snacks have highly processed items, and they tend to be low in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and high on empty calories due to refined flours, sodium, preservatives, sweeteners, coloring, and other appealing ingredients such as chocolate, peanuts, and artificial flavors.
However, homemade snacks would not have all the preservatives and processed items. You might also use natural sweeteners and other healthy vegetables, which makes such snacks healthy. For example, a homemade sandwich would have fresh tomatoes and buns. Make more of your snacks at home. Avoid, unhealthy snacking can lead to health complications like diabetes
3. What time do I eat before going to bed?
This is one question about food that cannot be given a definite answer. Seeing that it varies from person to person at the same time, there are things that should be understood before deciding the right time to eat at night
A. Last supper
It is advisable to have your last big meal of the two (2) or three (3) hours before heading to bed, but in the case where you are still up 5 hours after your last meal, you can have a very light snack before bed. Avoid going to bed with a full stomach. It can lead to heartburn and weight gain. However, going to bed with an empty stomach will prevent you from having a good night’s rest.
B. Light night snack
If you have to snacks before bed, it is advisable to eat food or fruits that are not processed like berries, bananas, apple, oatmeal, plain yogurt, and eggs. These foods can digest in under 30 minutes, and some will also aid in a good night’s sleep.
4. How do i preserve my food without having a fridge?
Before the idea of a refrigerator, our parents had effective ways of storing and preserving food. Although most of these are now seen as outdated, they come in handy in situations where there is a fridge but no power. Here are some ways that are old but still very effective:
Fish and meat, when dried up, can last up to a month. You can dry by keeping in an open space where they have direct contact with the sun. Many fruits and vegetables can be preserved by drying, as well. Drying is one of the most effective means of food preservation because dried foods last longer. Some dried up vegetables may have to be cooked for a more extended period or soaked in hot water to make it soft.
Smoking meat or Fish is one of the best ways to preserve them. This doesn’t only protect them but gives different flavors to it. The process is hectic, but it will leave you asking for more.
For perishables, like tomatoes, you can boil them for 10 minutes, keep them in a container and allow it to cool. This you can be able to use the next day.
Some crops and food cannot be preserved by using heat. In the case of an onion, it is best to leave it on the cold floor, because heat will make it grow out buds. This is also applicable to roots crops like cassava or sweet potatoes.
- Do not leave fruits and vegetables in a polythene bag overnight. You can keep them in a basket, and they will remain fresh till the next morning.
- Fruits and vegetables like peas and tomatoes can be put in a tin with water
5. Can soft drinks replace water?
Water accounts for up to 60 percent of our body weight. It is essential for most of the functions of the body. Our body system is affected when we lose water through dehydration, sickness, exercise, or heat-related stress. This can result in a decline in both our mental and physical well-being.
A. What happens when I get dehydrated?
Before we feel the strong need to take water (thirsty), the body is already dehydrated. It has been proven that our moods and attention are negatively affected when we are dehydrated.
As we lose body water through sweat, breathing, and other means without replacing it, our blood becomes more concentrated, making the kidneys to retain water, and it becomes harder for a natural flow of blood. Dehydration can also lead to hyperthermia, exhaustion, and increased heart rate.
Knowing how important water is for our body, the question remains, can water be substituted for a soft drink?
In as much as sodas and soft drinks are refreshing they do not do much of hydrating us, instead they fill our stomachs, water should be taken regularly so as to avoid feeling any of the signs of dehydration but in a case where water is out of reach, soft drinks can be taken but water should be gotten as quickly as possible.
And so, here are answers to the most perplexing questions about food. However, if you have some health issues to consider, or want to lose weight, you should go see a professional nutritionist. Take measures to avoid developing habits that are not suitable for your body type and weight. Have more questions about food, send your comments below.