Kuwaiti Newspaper | Cooking at home improves mental health

A group of researches report that healthy cooking at home is not only enjoyable and gives delicious food, but it is also beneficial for mental health and raises a person’s awareness of the importance of healthy diets for people.

New research from Edith Cowan University (ECU) involving 657 participants in a seven-week healthy cooking program found that home cooking helps build a strong human-food relationship, according to Medical Express.

The researchers noted that those who participated in the program noticed significant improvements in overall health, mental health, and subjective vitality immediately upon completion of the six-month program.

strong trust relationships

The researchers also noted a strong belief relationship between people and food, belief in cooking as well, easy change of eating habits and overcoming many obstacles that hinder a healthy lifestyle.

Lead researcher Dr Joanna Reese explained that the study demonstrated the importance of diet for mental health and suggested that improving the quality of people’s diet could be a preventative strategy to stop or slow the growth of poor mental health, obesity and other metabolic disorders.

Fast food

She stressed that there should be many health programs related to healthy cooking, as they have proven their effectiveness in improving the quality of life in general, especially by creating more awareness about the importance of introducing foods like fruits and vegetables in food. . , in an easy way, and so can gradually get rid of fast food and others.A kind of unhealthy food.

Also, researchers previously found a link between eating more fruits and vegetables and improving long-term mental health in a larger study that gathered more sophisticated nutritional data, meaning participants in the current study may have felt better because of the improved diet.

Surprisingly, the mental health benefits were equal among overweight or obese participants who were in a healthy weight range, meaning that eating vegetables and fruits affected everyone’s mental health.

Despite the benefits that healthy eating offers us, some believe that healthy eating is completely away from favorite foods, so the food they eat tastes bad or disliked, and that adopting a healthy eating pattern requires establishing very strict restrictions on their nature. food.

Rather, eating healthy food aims to improve your health, mood, and energy, so that you feel satisfied and comfortable about your body and your life in general, by making some adjustments to your previous eating pattern.

It is not a requirement to become lean by switching to eating healthy foods, but healthy eating helps you maintain a healthy weight or lose excess weight to achieve a healthy and fit weight.

favorite foods

There are many ways for those who want to start eating healthy food without having to give up their favorite foods, and one of the most important of these is preparing and cooking food at home instead of eating out.

You can make some simple adjustments in the way you cook food so that it is healthy and tasty at the same time. Cooking food at home offers the following benefits:

* You can control the content of the dishes you prepare at home to keep the salt and their caloric content within the allowed limit compared to the dishes of restaurants rich in salt and calories.

* Eating out exposes the body to food additives, added sugar and unhealthy fats that you can avoid by making your own food.

* When preparing your food, you can enjoy the taste you like and choose your favorite items.

* Eating home-cooked food reduces the feeling of bloating and stress that accompanies eating out.

the amount of food

Some people avoid cooking at home because they are preoccupied with different things in life, or feel tired after returning home, or because they are afraid that the recipes they follow in cooking will fail, and sometimes because of the fear of eating a larger quantity. food if prepared at home. To facilitate home cooking and make it healthy, it is preferable to do the following:

* Pre-planning for cooking by preparing the kitchen with the necessary healthy food items and healthy cooking utensils, and preparing simple recipes for preparing healthy food at home.

Shopping tips

• Shopping For everything you need to cook healthy food, the following tips will help you with your shopping:

• Choose healthy foods such as fresh vegetables and fruits, meat, fish, poultry, dairy products and whole grain breads, which are usually found on the edge and not in the middle of shops (where unhealthy processed foods are often found. ).

• Buy low-fat dairy products or salad dressings.

• Choose skinless chicken.

• Reduce the purchase of fast foods, chips, grilled meats and pastries because they contain a lot of fat and salt.

• Buy fresh vegetables and fruits in the amount you will consume before they are damaged, but you can buy frozen vegetables as they contain the same amount of vitamins.

• Avoid buying canned vegetables and pickles as they contain a lot of salt.

It is preferable to buy fresh herbs and spices whenever possible.

• Pre-preparation: Pre-preparation reduces the time spent in the kitchen for cooking.

You can do the following steps in advance to make cooking easier:

• Wash and chop the vegetables.

• Peel and chop the potatoes and keep in cold water in the refrigerator.

Prepare chicken broth or broth in advance for later use in soups and other dishes.

• Cook more than enough for one day and put the rest in the freezer to consume later and do not forget to put a label indicating the date of storage of food.

health tips

Follow these tips to prepare and cook healthy food:

• Use non-stick pans to cook food to reduce the need to use cooking oils.

• Use food alternatives that contain less fat (such as nonfat cheese).

• If you use cooking fats, be sure to add as little as possible (using cooking spray or brush) and preferably use oils that contain unsaturated fats such as corn oil.

• Avoid using olive oil for frying or at the beginning of cooking.

• Apply recipes that contain unsaturated fats like fish, nuts and soy.

• Use juices other than cooking oils as much as possible, such as broth, vinegar, water and lemon juice.

• Replace the cooking cream used in making soups and sauces with yogurt, low-fat milk, steamed skim milk or cornstarch.

• Avoid frying food as much as possible and use alternative cooking methods such as bleaching, grilling, roasting, baking, steaming or microwave. Learn more about the following healthy cooking methods to give the food a delicious taste without losing much of its nutritional value or by adding fat or salt.

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