In relation to healthy eating; There are various factors to consider when we talk about healthy eating. Cooking is one of those factors (I am talking on cooking because to eat healthy you have to cook the food in a healthy manner first).
Some points to consider when talking about healthy cooking that determines how healthy the food will be are:
-Cooking environmental hygiene (neatness of the place and cooking utensils),
-Cooking method like frying, boiling roasting e.t.c
-Cooking means like firewood, gas, stove or electricity.
We all know that firewood is one of the most unhealthy cooking means because of the smoke you inhale while using it.
Cooking Ingredients play a major role in determining how healthy your food will be.
More on cooking Ingredients
I’ll talk more on this because that’s the main point of this article. As previously stated to bring out a healthy meal you have to cook healthy, and to cook healthy you have to use the right Ingredients.
Not just the right ones, they also have to be put at the right time and in the right quantity. For example,your vegetables should be put last in your food so as not to get it overcooked, and some Ingredrients like pepper or spice should not be over put in food so that the food can be safe and healthy for an Ulcer patient.
Soup is our tradition in Nigeria, by this I mean every state, culture and tribe has special soups we are known for and we enjoy.
I can’t imagine what we would do without soup in our(Nigerians) cooking menu.
Cooking this soup to be healthy is as important as the soup itself. To cook the soup healthy you MUST use healthy Ingredients and avoid unhealthy Ingredients.
A good example of an unhealthy Ingredient we use to cook our soup is salt.
Yes, salt is a common Ingredient that existed from before we were born. It gives taste to the food and is used for other home activities (like cleaning, insecticide, e.t.c).
We learn everyday and with this learning our knowledge increases. So before you start reacting see why salt is unhealthy.
Salt is made up of two elements, sodium (Na) and chlorine(Cl), which is why the scientific name is sodium chloride (NaCl).
The sodium component of salt is a water retainer i.e it makes the body to retain water and not excrete it.
Retained water is dangerous to your health.
Some of the dangers of retained water are:
1. Heart problems
The retained water will cause the heart to pump with more force/pressure. This will overwork the heart muscles and begin to give it various heart problems.
2. Breathing difficulty
An overworked heart will lead to it pumping less blood to the lungs and muscles sorrounding the lungs. This would lead to weakened lungs and poor breathing.
3. High blood pressure
When the pumping pressure of the heart increases, blood movement pressure in the blood vessels also increases and this leads to high blood pressure.
4. Kidneys problems
The kidneys are responsible for excretion of fluid from the body. When fluid is in excess the kidneys are overworked and this could lead to it developing problems.
5. Skin problem
The excess water could go and settle on the surface that is close to the skin and cause swelling (edema). This usually occurs on the legs(mostly), face, stomach or all over the body(anasaca or generalized edema).
This swelling (edama) could cause itching and extremely light skin that could easily be bruised(injured).
6. Stroke and blindness
This is an indirect effect of sodium. When it causes Increase in blood pressure, this could lead to rupture(bursting) of blood vessels especially in the brain(this leads to stroke). When this rupture occurs around the eyes it can cause blindness.
These are just a few of the unhealthy effects of cooking your soup with salt.
Better alternatives to salt are your natural spices like ogiri, crayfish, onions e.t.c. Then you use your seasoning cubes(has little salt but is a more healthy alternative),and cook your soup in a delicious way.
I know you would think it is impossible to stop salt, but you can, it’s all about training and descipline of your body.
Especially as you age(30 years and above), you need to start getting used to cooking without salt, use these other natural sweeteners I mentioned above and avoid the risk of developing any of the stated health problems.
Thanks for reading. Share this article for others to benefit and stay healthy.
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