Multiple Benefits Of Home Cooking

By Layana Reghunath

We all love to dine out as it is more convenient than spending time in the kitchen preparing meals. But have you ever thought about the adverse effects of eating out? Do you even know how restaurants prepare your meals? Do they wash the ingredients properly and maintain basic hygiene while cooking? If you ever dare to visit the restaurant kitchens, I am sure you won’t ever have the thought of eating outside again in your life. Despite knowing the benefits of cooking food at home, we prefer eating outside mainly because of the convenience.

Understand the fact that most restaurant owners are least bothered about your health. The only thing that matters to them is to earn profit. They may use cheap and rotten ingredients in unhygienic ways while preparing your meal. But you are not bothered by it as you see only the result they put on your table most attractively. So, how can you stay healthy? Simple, have home-cooked meals. 

Here, in this article, we will talk about a few benefits of cooking food at home, which will increase your love for homely meals. But before we begin, let’s understand the side effects of eating out or ordering a delivery.

Adverse effects of eating out

Adverse effects of eating out

I agree; after a hectic day, most of us won’t have the energy to get into the kitchen and prepare even a one-course meal. At that time, we tend to look at the more accessible options which come to us in the form of a food delivery boy. With new food ordering apps in the market, life has become much easier, especially for the working class. But these processed foods significantly affect our mental and physical health. These foods have high quantities of chemicals and loads of sugar, salt, hormones, calories and unhealthy fat. It can affect your brain functioning as well as your general appearance. Studies show that people who frequently eat out display weakness, irritability, bloating, depression and anxiety at some point in their life.

Moreover, restaurants usually serve food in more quantity than your general intake. Hence, to avoid wastage, you tend to eat more which also causes obesity, diabetes and blood pressure in future. So, why risk your health with unhygienic and processed foods when you can stay healthy and happy by having simple and tasty home-cooked meals? 

Benefits of cooking at home

benefits of cooking at home

Even though cooking at home and having healthy food may seem to be an exhausting task, but is not as complicated as you think. By healthy food, we mean eating food prepared using natural ingredients. You can include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet and a good protein source. But you need not have to spend hours preparing these dishes in the kitchen. Many simple and tastier recipes are available that take less of your time using very few ingredients. Cooking at home takes less time than eating out or waiting for delivery. The benefits of cooking food at home are far easier than you ever imagined.

Moreover, you can cook for your family without being an experienced chef. They will love anything you prepare as you also add love to these foods. Let’s now understand homely meals’ health, emotional and social benefits.

The Health Benefits

Having home-cooked foods benefits your health the most. A few benefits are listed below.

  • Homely meals increase your immunity, reducing the risks of many lifestyle diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. 
  • You will have better control over your health problems, resulting in better sleep and more energy.
  • Women can reduce the risk of early menopause and PMS and improve their fertility by having homely meals.
  • People on special diets for weight loss can have control over their food intake when they prepare the food.
  • You are also less likely to get food-borne diseases and allergies by cooking at home.
  • Home cooking sharpens your mind, fights against cognitive reduction and lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • It boosts kids’ energy to a great extent and helps them grow up into confident, healthy and happy adults.

Emotional and social benefits

Home cooking also plays a vital role in increasing an individual’s emotional and social mindset.

  • It boosts the morale and self-esteem of the person involved.
  • Cooking at home is a great stress buster as you take time from your busy schedule, leave behind all those stressful matters, and concentrate simply on what you are doing.
  • It invokes hidden talents in you as you start experimenting with different dishes.
  • Home cooking also helps fight against several mental health issues like anxiety, depression, stress, etc., uplifting your mood and outlook.
  • Cooking and eating together with your family improves your relationship with them.
  • Inviting your friends for your home-cooked meals widens 7your social circle and reduces your stress level.
  • Healthy food brings joy to your life as you are healthy and happy inside and out.

As per the latest studies, people who always have homely meals wisely choose when eating out. They avoid overeating and go for healthier options while eating in restaurants. In short, eating home-cooked meals has become part of their lives.

The joy of sharing a home-cooked meal

In India, guests are treated as gods. They welcome them with homely meals and lots of love in their hearts. Food brings people together and uplifts their mood. It is a stress buster for many, especially teenagers and picky eaters. Then, why can’t you share this happiness with the ones near you? I am sure there must be someone near you who is yearning for homely food. Invite them to a family dinner and give them your tasty home-cooked meals. You will be pleasantly surprised by the happiness on their faces. It is said that good food fills not only one’s tummy but also his heart. It is correct, as sharing increases your social network and helps you make more friends. Their positive feedback about your cooking skills gives pleasure to your heart also.

  • Add more members to your mealtime

Even if you have cooked a delicious meal, most of you may not prefer eating alone. Invite a friend or loved one to your mealtime and spend quality time with them. It is a great way to improve your bonding with them and ease stress levels. If you are alone, you can invite a friend or neighbour once in a while for dinner. 

  • Stay away from all types of distractions

Nowadays, eating while watching TV or on mobile phones has become a trend. At least put away all these devices during your mealtimes and pay attention to your loved ones. Listen to what they are saying and help them understand your point of view. Staying away from these distractions will also help you to watch what you are eating and thus can avoid overeating.

  • Cook together

Don’t hesitate to ask for help from your spouse or roommate for cooking or grocery shopping. Cooking is a joint effort; everyone in the house should be part of it. For example, if you make the main dish, your friend or spouse can look over the dessert. It deepens your bonding and helps you split the cost of living. 

How can you increase your interest in cooking?

You may already know about the various benefits of home-cooked foods. But still, you are hesitant to practise it in real life. It may be because you have failed drastically in one or two cooking experiments, or your kids prefer eating out more than your food. But once you start changing your thought process towards cooking, you will find that it is the most fun activity you can do with your loved ones. Below are some obstacles that hold you back from cooking and tips to overcome that fear. 

No time to cook

Yes, cooking involves a lot of processes like shopping, chopping, kneading, cooking and cleaning afterwards. It is a time-consuming process, but there are ways in which you can increase your efficiency.

  • Do online shopping and get your ingredients delivered to your doorsteps.
  • Include more participants. Assign duties like shopping or cleaning to your spouse or roommates.
  • Make everything ready beforehand. When you are free, especially on the weekends, you can list what you will make on weekdays and get the necessary ingredients ready. The kitchen works like chopping, peeling, grating etc., can be done beforehand so that you can spend less time in the kitchen cooking. 
  • Go for simple recipes that need raw ingredients like salads and fresh juice.
  • Appreciate your meal rather than consider it a chore. Then you will feel like spending only a little time on it.

Fast food is cheaper

Fast foods may look less experience compared to your grocery shopping list. But in reality, it is just vice-versa. You may be paying more for your groceries and veggies, but you can have meals for a whole month with them. Whereas fast food satisfies your hunger only for that moment and you will have to look for them on your next meal. Home cooks also save money on doctors as they won’t have to visit them periodically, compared to fast food eaters. 

No energy to cook after a tiring day

You don’t have to cook a super meal, especially after a busy day. A healthy meal doesn’t require too much effort.

  • A slow cooker is a good option as you can load them with all the ingredients in the morning and return home to a hot lip-smacking dinner requiring minimal cleaning. 
  • Prepare a bulk meal on weekends, divide it into small portions, and freeze them. Heat them whenever you need them or are too busy to prepare meals. 
  • Cook your main protein, like turkey breasts or chicken roasts, on weekends and use the leftovers for preparing easy and quick meals like salads, soups, sandwiches, etc., on weekdays.

No idea of cooking

If you are staying away from cooking, citing your lack of experience, then understand that cooking is not rocket science. 

  • You can follow the different ingredients mentioned in the recipe book. Skipping one or two components is completely fine and won’t change its taste.
  • Search online for simple recipes and cooking methods.
  • People learn cooking only through practice. Even if you are completely illiterate in this field, one day you can surely excel if you keep practising. 

The family prefers food from outside

Even if you cook healthy foods, the rest of your family prefers eating out. But there are ways in which you can lure them back to your home-cooked meals.

  • Start cooking once or twice a week. Slowly your family’s taste buds will change and adapt to your cooked meals. 
  • Children love cooking; if you include them while cooking, they will automatically love to eat the food they prepare.
  • Children are your carbon copies and imitate you from head to tea. So if you want them to eat healthily, you will have to change your eating habits and switch to healthy foods.

How do I start cooking?

First of all, consider cooking a smooth job. It is a fun activity if you take it in the proper sense. Don’t think about preparing three meals a day in the beginning. Instead, start cooking a few times a week. Slowly, you will begin developing an interest in it and preparing more meals in the coming days. Later on, you will be so used to home-cooked meals that eating out becomes an occasional treat rather than a normal one. Here are some tips that will help you get started in cooking.

  • Begin with healthy cooking: Baking cakes and brownies may interest you initially, but you will need help in your health journey. Likewise, adding too much sugar or salt to your healthy meal can make it unhealthy. So, in your first endeavour with cooking, try making healthy and tasty dishes and season them with spices rather than sugar and salt. 
  • Keep it simple: Only look for quick recipes because they may hinder your interest in cooking in the initial days. Start with simple dishes like steaming or sauteeing veggies, grilling fish or chicken and top it with spices and herbs. It looks much better and tastier. 
  • Cook in bulk quantities: While cooking, try to make it in large quantities so you can use its leftovers for the next day’s lunch or dinner recipes. Dishes like pasta and rice can be made in bulk and stored in the freezer for the next day’s use. This way, you will be satisfied with eating a home-cooked meal and avoid eating out when you are not in the mood to cook. 
  • Find healthier substitutions: Replace your cooking ingredients with healthier substitutions. For example, salt can be replaced by garlic or onion powder, and refined flour can be substituted with whole wheat flour. Choose grilling and baking over frying and increase the intake of vegetables and fruits instead of meat. Sugar consumption must also be reduced to ½ or ⅓ of your regular quantity. 
  • Stock up on your groceries: Find out what is less in your store room and stock them accordingly. For example, ingredients like rice, wheat, cereals, spices, oils, etc., will be needed daily and stored in bulk quantities. Also, frozen veggies and cans of tomatoes can come in handy in preparing cook meals. 
  • It’s okay to make mistakes: Understand that no one is perfect. We all make mistakes and become masters when we keep practising. Hence, it is entirely acceptable if the recipe goes wrong or your utensils get burned. However, you will make a tasty and healthy home-cooked meal after a few attempts. So keep that in mind and keep going.
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