One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well. - Virginia Woolf
Food is very essential in Nigeria and that is why Agriculture is the centre of the economy which provides the main source of livelihood for the majority of Nigerians. This makes it possible to get organic food stock easily because we cultivate a lot of our food and livestock.
No living man on earth can do without food and that is why cooking is part of what keeps us functioning. Whether you eat homemade meals or buy from restaurants, the art of cooking is always involved. When you cook at home and improve your cooking skills, you have control of what you put inside your body and achieve your desired health goal. Healthy eating habits can also be cultivated when you prepare your meals for yourself and your family. Good mental health and development are also attributed to eating good fresh organic food.
Cooking healthy and preparing your meals at home can be attributed to:
- Eating healthily to live better
- Creativity - trying new healthy recipes
- Hobby - relaxation and enjoyment
- Impressing your family and loved ones
- Saving up more money
- Discovering other peoples culture through their food
Continue to read this Superprof NG article to learn more about the benefits of cooking.
Do you want to learn how to cook or polish your cooking skills? You can contact any of our cooking tutors on https://www.superprof.ng/
Advantages Of Learning How To Cook
A healthy diet is essential for good health and nutrition. Healthy recipes must therefore have a combination of the seven major classes of food which are carbohydrates, fats, minerals, dietary fibre, proteins, minerals and water.
You have more control of the ingredients when you prepare your own meals. A meal that is a balanced diet can be eaten on a regular when you form the habit of cooking yourself. Controlling what you eat can make a whole lot of difference in your adherence to a calorie deficit, and hence weight loss or calorie surplus and hence weight gain.
Some ways you can cut down calories and still eat some of your favourite foods healthily:
- Eat more vegetables with carbohydrates for e.g eat 80% of vegetables with 20% of rice or yam or the likes
- Cook with more spices like curry, cumin, paprika, ginger, garlic coriander, thyme, parsley and fewer salts and MSG food additives.
- Start using smaller plates to eat
- Always have your healthy meals readily available in the fridge
- Use whole grain flour for your healthy baking at home
- Replace white flour with almond flour, whole wheat flour, coconut flour, quinoa flour
Smart nutrition and food choices can help prevent all sort of diseases and help you cope more with an underlying illness.
Cooking helps you to avoid bad eating habits especially eating junk foods and eating foods that are oily, fatty and carbohydrates food in an unbalanced way.
Take a look at some facts about junk food and why it should be avoided;
- Junk foods are low in nutrients and high in bad cholesterol, calories and sugars
- They contain synthetic substances which are harmful to the body
- They contain preservatives to increase their shelf life which is bad for you
Cooking is also an opportunity to experiment, relax and spoil yourself. It is so versatile that you can be listening, dancing and relaxing to your favourite music while you prepare that healthy dinner. Food brings people together and so you can use your cooking skills as an opportunity to entertain family and friends.
Home Cooking Is Great For Your Health
One of the easiest ways to improve your overall health is by preparing home-cooked meals. Eating healthy meals is the key to good health.
Processed and junked food can take a toll on your health and that is why the benefits of cooking at home cannot be overemphasized.
The type of food your kids will have a great impact on their health throughout adolescence and adulthood...start them young. When you learn the basics of cooking and start playing chef, you can take charge of the health of your children and family. Meals prepared at home will teach you more about its nutrition and will also help in these areas:
- Mental development
- Immune system
- Energy stability
- Weight management
- Fitness goals
By changing how we cook, what we cook and where we get our food items can positively affect our environment. We now see more warnings regularly for people to look after the environment by consuming responsibly, shop locally and organically and only eat what’s in the season which in turn will positively your health. If what is bad for the environment is definitely bad for your body.
Let us take a look at some of the health benefits of home-cooked meals:
- You are mindful and aware of what you are putting into your body
- It a way of relaxing which in turn stimulates your brain
- You get to invite your family and friends over to eat and spend time with family and friends which is important to your well being
- You eat fewer calories without knowing it. Restaurant and packed meals are heavy on salt, butter, sugar and additives which are not good for your health in the long run
- While maintaining good health, you also get to save money when you cook your own meals
- You can control hygiene and food safety when you prepare your own meals
Preparing healthy meals at home can support your immune system and reduce the risk of illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes. It also improves your energy level, prevents insomnia and helps you manage any underlying illness. Here's a list of some healthy Nigerian foods you can prepare to keep the Doctor away
Asides from the health aspect, cooking also integrates food and culture. Learning another country's cuisine - African (Nigerian) cuisine, Turkish cuisine, Chinese cuisine, Vietnamese cuisine or American cuisine –lets you travel around the world through food. Each country has its own unique food that most tourists are eager to taste when they travel.
Don't just cook the basics everyone is used to, try to improve your cooking skills by going out of your comfort zone and cooking other cuisines from all over the world. Research their recipes and try out the ones that will be healthy for you and also help you achieve your health goals.
Cooking Helps To Save Cost
It is normal to want a super healthy and delicious meal that doesn’t cost a fortune to make especially with the current economic situation in Nigeria. Planning your meals ahead of time will help in achieving your health goals and it also allows for more efficient use of time and other resources available to you. When you plan your meals you are buying what you need which in turn saves you money by preventing impulse buying. Cooking your own meals also saves you money by cooking your own meals instead of buying already cooked food outside which are more expensive and less healthy.
More and more people are learning every day how to eat better for less. All you need to do is plan your meals by looking for cheaper healthier alternatives to meet your desired meal or recipe. Below are some tips that can help you save some money while eating healthily:
- While going grocery shopping, look for locally made ones instead of the imported ones.
- If you are making dinner for some gues you invited over, make enough to keep some for your next day lunch or dinner. That way you save yourself time and money on what to eat the next day.
- While cooking, ensure you use ingredients in order of perishability. Use food items and ingredients that tend to spoil fast while prepping your meals.
- Plan your meals around the ingredients you have at home. Ensure you know what you have and what you don't.
- Do your research on healthier cheap alternatives to the ingredients you will need to plan your meals
- Go to the local markets around you to shop for your food stock instead of buying them more expensive at the supermarkets.
Batch cooking is a great way of saving some money. The fridge and freezer are your best friends when it comes to batch cooking your healthy budget-friendly meals. Batch cooking involves preparing a quantity that will last for a period of time. It is a very good strategy to save money and freeze whatever you don’t eat. Properly researching before trying a new meal or recipe will save you the cost of buying and choosing the wrong ingredient.
The key to saving money and avoiding wastage is selecting the right and necessary ingredient.
Cook To Impress A Loved One
Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all - Harriet Van Horne
Having a date with someone is a great way of knowing each other and what better way can you do that if it is not when eating a delicious meal together. A Date night can be as special at home as it can be in a restaurant in town, it all depends on how you prepare for it. Take a look at some of the questions to ask yourself about your guest before cooking:
- Are they on a special diet?
- Do they take alcoholic drinks or not?
- What wine should I choose to accompany the meal?
- What are they allergic to
- What is their favourite food? well, that is if you are lucky to have that information
- Are they trying to lose weight?
- Are they vegetarian?
Simplicity is key, don't risk a disaster with a more complex meal. Plus you will save money and time when you go for something easy, delicious and colourful.
It is finally important to note good time with your date is what is most important. Just be considerate, attentive, caring and happy and everything you make will taste good.
Remember you can contact any of our cooking tutors at Superprof Ng to take some cooking classes.