Liquid food !
Article Author: Hephzi
(Pics from web source)
As babies, we begin our food journey from the liquids, to the semi- solids then, graduate to the solids. From plain milk to baby food and to the family food. In the last stages of human life, we end up with liquid diet , IV fluids etc., ofcourse not all of us... Solid food takes longer time to digest whereas, liquid food can be easily assimilated into the body, easy to break down, easy to process and easy on the digestive system.Healthy normal adult's diet consists of solids, accompanied by liquids. It could be plain water to beverage, or a glass of wine. Liquids forms the important part of our diet. Food can be taken in the liquid form either in the form of soups, smoothies or juices. In some cases, Doctor prescribes clear liquids i.e. before or after a surgery to keep the intestinal tract clear. Liquid diet is suggested to people to promote quick recovery. I remember my mother giving me hot steamed, mashed rice with Miryala charu (soup, clear liquid, made with black pepper) when recovering from fever. It was almost like liquid food with nourishing and healing properties. Some liquids are healthy promoting health, while some are destructive. Let's look at all the liquids we add in our diet and examine their importance and bad effects on health.
Drinks for festivals and special occasions
Some festivals are incomplete without the festive, occasional drinks, such as Bhaang for colourful Holi festival, Bhang is an intoxicating drink. Ugadi pachadi for new year, for Telugu people. It has the combination of all 6 different tastes, Apple cider and Egg nog for Christmas, semi- liquid Sheer qurma for Ramzaan etc.
All most all of the religions are associated with some sought of liquids/ drinks. In Hinduism, there is Theertham, which is holy/ sacred water offered in the temples. Christian Churches offer Wine in resemblance to the blood of Christ, showing the unity and brotherhood as a family of Christ. Muslim religion is associated with holy water from the Holy Kaaba called "Zam Zam", when ever I think of muslim drinks, it reminds me of falooda and rooh afza, ofcourse, it is not religious.
People break their religious upvaas (fasting )wheather it is Karwa chauth, Id, or Good friday fasting, with a glass of drink either fruit juices or plain water.
Water is very important for the smooth funtioning of body. Not only human life is depended on the water, the birds, animals and plants also depend on the water for their existance. Our body consists of 75% of water, even then we need to realise the importance of drinking more water, as our body excretes water through skin and bladder and we need to replenish the lost water to prevent dehydration. Drinking sufficient amount of water prevents constipation, flushes the toxins and wastes.
Sometimes plain water seems to be quite boring. Adding a slice of lemon or slice of cucumber or fresh fruit or vegetable juice will make it interesting... During the cold winter months, when there is only few hours of sunshine(especially, in Toronto) there is no urge to drink water, you never feel thirsty. Sometimes I totally forget to drink water, someone has to remind me to drink water or I have to make a deliberate effort to remember and drink.
How much water do we need per day?? Well, the debate is still going on....some say we need 8 glasses of water a day. Some say we don't need water at all, as we are compensating with the liquids such as soups, fruit juices etc., But I would stick with my regular 8 glasses a day routine !
Teas / Herbal Teas/ Coffee
Coffee Most of us begin our day with a hot cup of coffee. It is the most attractive and addictive drink that wakes you up in the morning. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, it is also associated with heart diseases. Using the decaffeinated drink can be beneficial. Coffee is known to dehydrate the body. If you are drinking 1 cup of coffee, you need to drink 4 cups of water to compensate.
Tea or coffee is offered in all Indian homes to the guests, as a friendly, inviting gesture. Most of us end up having several cups of Teas in a day, in the name of social get togethers. The normal tea also contains caffeine and is also associated with the health problems.
The best way to make herbal tea is to add tea leaves to the warm pot and add hot water to it and allow it to simmer until you get the desired consistency, drink it right away or save it in a flask and sip a cup all through the day. It is normally taken without milk yet, you can add a bit of sugar to taste. But, having it without sugar is the best option.
There are some foods we prefer as per the climatic conditions and seasons to balance the temperatures of the body. Hot food for cold weather such as soups, hot cup of coffee or cocoa and cold food for hot weather such as juices, cold drinks, coolers etc. Soups are mostly taken in the cold winter months. Soups come in three different types, clear broth, creamy textured, and chunky. Soups can be served as an appetizer or It could be a meal by itself depending on the combination of foods used in it. It gives warm and soothing effect during the cold winter months. Soothes the throat, clears the nasal congestion.
Juices can be made from fruits or vegetables or combination of both. Fresh fruit juices are known to be the reservior of essential nutrients and rich source of fibre. It treats many ailments, works as a preventive measure. The best way to use them is to take it immediately as soon as it is made, to get the maximum health benefit. Make sure to wash the fruits thoroughly before putting in a blender, as there could be pesticide residue on it. Do not opt for pre-packed/ tetra pack fruit juices when you can have an option to get the fresh fuit juice. As it will contain added sugar, additives, preservatives, and the food colour. Best examples of fresh fruit juices are Apple juice, Grape juice.
Smoothies are calcium rich, cold, thick and creamy fruit juices. Normally, It is yogurt based, milk based or Ice-cream based. Smoothies are more popular because it is healthy, nutrious and delicious. They make ideal breakfast or snack. People with lactose intolerance can use soya milk or lactose free milk to derive the benefit. Best examples are strawberry banana smoothie, Blueberry smoothie. The Indian version of a smoothie is Mango Lassi.
Milk is rich in Calcium and is important for all ages. For healthy bone development in the childhood, and avoids osteoporosis in the old age. Milk is the best food at all times, for all ages. Milk is derived from mammals such as cows and goats. The best food for the infants is breast milk. In case, if the mother is not able to make enough milk, Cow`s milk is the next best alternative for the infants. For the toddlers and pre-schoolers there is Chocolate milk. For the teenagers and adults hot chocolate makes the best milk based beverage.
Cordial is a non-alchoholic, medicinal drink with healing properties made with various combinations, using roots, bark, leaves, flowers etc.Prepared like decoction, tonic or elixir. It has the curative values to heal the minor illnesses such as headache, cold , cough, indigestion, constipation etc. The best example is Chinese ginseng. My Mom, though not a medical graduate,treats the minor illnesses, makes wonderful cordials at home, using the spices. Ginger and lemon for cold, cough, digestion. Yogurt drink for abdominal pain, the mint concoctions, the traditional chicken soup as an energy boost etc...
Alcoholic beverages / Cocktails / Mocktails
is more popular among all sections of the society, around the world. Alcoholic beverages are grouped into 3 different types Beers, Wines, spirits . Beer is produced by brewing and fermenting wheat, corn or rice. Wines are produced by fermenting the fruits for longer periods of time, such as grapes, apples and cherries. Spirits are distilled alcoholic beverages. Incorporating alcohol in the social events has become the order of the day. There are more number of Belt shops in AP, India, than schools. It is interesting to see how the shop owners are luring people to get into the habit of drinking by offering deals, chicken curries etc., to the buyers. Then there is the cheap liquor called Toddy and Neera. Alcohol is addictive, It is heart breaking to see how the families are getting addicted to it and ruining their families. What amount is good?? Alchohol, Zero tolerance.
are more popular in the pub culture. Cocktail is an alchoholic drink, mixed with two or more ingredients. Since, it is an alchoholic drink spirits are mixed into fruit juices. Some times more than one kind of spirit is mixed along with soda, honey or sugar, ice, milk or cream to make it thick and creamy. The best examples are bloody mary, pina colada etc., Cocktails are not suggested for kids 18 and under. How much alchohol can we have?? There is no safe amount. No amount is good ...
are non-alchoholic. Mocktails are mock cocktails, without the alchohol in it. It is a pretend cocktail, prepared to taste almost like a cocktail without the alchohol content in it. It is a safe bet for pregnant mothers. These non-alcoholic drinks are great to serve the entire family and a great alternative for guests, who stay away from alcohol.
Soft drinks are non- alchoholic beverages. There are innumerable soft drinks available in the market. Soft drinks are usually corbonated, fizzy drinks. Call it by any name soda , pop, fizzy, sparkler whatever..it is filled with sugar and can contain caffeine. Daily consumption of softdrink can cause obesity, type 2 diabetics etc. There are lot of health related issues associated with soft drinks.
Slush Slush is a kid's favorite drink. Ice-cream soda, slurpees comes under this section. Slush is crushed ice drink with added flavours. It is a flavoured frozen ice drink. There are different types and flavours of slushes available. some are carbonated, some are made with real fruit juice, some are with fruit extracts etc. All slushes are filled with sugar and added colours.
Other low calorie Beverages
Mineral water with a twist of lime
Club soda with slice of orange
Hotwater with lemon juice and honey
Cup of beef/ chicken / vegetable stock
A glass of skimmed, cold butter milk
A glass of fresh, young coconut water ( not the prepacked bottled coconut water)
The choice is yours, to decide on which drinks to take. There is always good and bad , the bad is always attractive and addictive, which causes bad health in the long run. Anything in moderation is acceptable, as long as you drink responsibly...
Cheers ! Put your drinks up !