Tasty route to longevity
By Ayesha Singh
17th February 2013 12:00 AM
She is a self-confessed “crazy” about the French fries, and even wrote a poem about them. But being a nutritionist, she knew that she could not eat them as often as she would have liked to. So, Shubhra Krishan has found an alternative: now indulges in oven-roasted potatoes tossed in extra virgin olive oil, and seasoned with rosemary and coarse salt, at least once a week, if not more. “They are flavourful, boast an irresistible aroma, taste divine, and guess what... potatoes are a good source of antioxidants too,” says Krishan who recently conducted a workshop on Antioxidant-Rich cooking at Godrej Nature’s Basket.
On just about every packet of a food product today, you will read that it is a good source of antioxidants. “Antioxidants, very simply, are compounds that help you fight damage from ‘free radicals,’ the agents of wear-and-tear and ageing. They keep the skin supple and radiant. Fresh, juicy and colourful are the keywords when looking for antioxidants. Think berries, grapes, melons, avocado, beans and more,” Krishan says. They prevent heart disease, types of cancer, help in healthy cell production, strengthen bones and joints, boost immunity, and experts say that antioxidants slow down the process of ageing.
Krishan’s career as a nutritionist got started in 1990 when she scripted and edited a health show for the Doordarshan. She was fascinated with the opportunity of meeting and learning from healers and nutritionists. It further gave her an impetus to make lifestyle changes in her own life and help others make them in theirs. “I learnt a lot about healing, healthy cuisine and balanced living, and of course it helped that I was a foodie, because anything remotely pertaining to food would enthuse me,” she says.
Over the years, she realised how tough it can be to live on tasteless food for the sake of losing weight. So, she decided to dish up ideas that combine taste with good health. “Antioxidants are the stars of the healthy food brigade, and they are all delicious without any exception. While there’s a cornucopia of antioxidant foods out there, a quick Google search will toss up a long list. I can tell you my favourites... walnuts, strawberries, kidney beans, dark chocolate, raisins, red bell peppers, corn, tomatoes, garlic and oranges,” she says. “There isn’t one particular meal plan that might fit all since we have different nutritional needs based on age, sex and activity. I find the idea of eating small portions every two hours feasible and satisfying. It gives you an opportunity to eat a variety of things all day,” she says, adding that if everybody could make minor adjustments in their diet like she did with the French fries, we would gift ourselves much healthier and happier bodies.
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