Is there a healthier way to cook?

For SHA Wellness Clinic
Thursday July 30th, 2020
Healthy nutrition

Cooking has become much more than just a way of preparing and serving food. It’s almost an art in itself. And doing it well provides enormous benefits not only to our body but also to our minds. We interviewed Melanie Waxman, Nutrition Expert at SHA Wellness Clinic about the secrets of different ways of cooking and their impact on our bodies.

“Cooking makes our food more digestible by breaking down tough fibres. It gives us more energy so we can go longer without eating. It also increases the aroma and taste of food and has allowed us to enjoy many more ingredients throughout history,” says Melanie Waxman.

– Is there a healthier way to cook than another? 

There isn’t a healthier way than another to cook. It depends on what we’re trying to achieve. In general, shorter cooking is stimulating and refreshing and has less of an effect on the glycemic index. More prolonged cooking helps build stamina, strength and long-lasting energy. Baking is more suitable for colder climates and active people, as it can raise the glycemic index and increase the fat in food. Grilling can increase carcinogens, so it is best to marinate food first and then do it quickly. It is even advisable to cook them a little earlier.

– Is there a more appropriate type of cooking for each season of the year? 

Not exactly, but it is true that in colder climates we can include more stews, hearty soups and even baked goods. In warmer climates, stir-fries, lightly blanched or steamed salads seem appropriate.

– How should we adapt different cooking styles for each meal of the day? 

In the morning, we want to have highly energizing but relaxing dishes to gently stimulate digestion and prepare for the day. Lunch is a time to enjoy a larger or smaller meal depending on our afternoon activities. Dinner is usually smaller and lighter as we prepare to relax and go to bed. All of us humans follow the cycle of the sun and eating at specific times can serve to maximize our energy levels and metabolic rate: sunrise, maximum light and sunset. In general, our metabolism slows down as the day progresses. If we are looking to lose weight, a lighter meal at dinner is preferred.

– Boiling, roasting, baking… What different ways of cooking do we have and what are their benefits? 

There are many different styles of cooking: if we use a variety, we can ensure that we are getting the most nutrients, energy and enjoyment from our food. We have steam, stew, soup, pressure cooking, oven, grill, pickles, fried foods…

– And how does cooking help the mind? 

Cooking is a wonderful way to relax the mind as well as the body. It can help with anxiety and stress and keep us in the flow of activity. It can also help with patience, becoming more aware and is an incredible creative outlet. Cooking can be an act of pure love as we create for ourselves, our family and friends. It’s a way to have fun, let go and enjoy life. Cooking brings clarity of thought: there is a direct link between digestion and the brain through the vagus nerve. This is like communicating through a telephone line. It goes both ways: the clearer, the better the results.

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