According to Unani, the act of eating is considered as life-giving, which is essential for both physical and mental health. Hence, Unani recommends a particular set of guidelines as to how, when and what foods should you eat to achieve a balance in the body. And, this includes eating freshly cooked foods for every meal because leftover foods are devoid of “Prana” which is the vital energy, so it restricts digestion and can disturb your well-being.
But we all often tend to store leftovers in the fridge and eat it either because it is easier than cooking every meal or because we end up making more than required and thus have to store it to avoid food waste. But it is an unhealthy practice. Read on to know more in this regard.
- Leftover food is the breeding ground for numerous microbes: None of us refrigerate the foods immediately after cooking. The food is left to be consumed first, and then the leftover is brought down to room temperature and is then refrigerated. This creates an ideal environment for the micro-organisms to multiply at a fast pace and spoil the food. This is the reason why leftover food sometimes doesn’t taste good enough. The classic example of this is cooked rice. The issues with leftover rice primarily arise from the way in which it is stored. According to the reports of the Foods Standard Agency, uncooked rice tends to contain spores of harmful bacteria which are sturdy enough to survive through the initial process of cooking. When the excess amount of rice is not stored at the right temperature, the spores will start spreading and multiplying leading to various digestion problems when consumed.
- Storing contaminated food can lead to cross-contamination: When you are storing foods rich in high bacterial load in your fridge, other foods can also get contaminated with these bacteria. Therefore, the chance of spoiling the foods increases at a fast pace while growing kids are likely to fall ill due to the different doshas occurring in the body.
- Leftover food doesn’t contain any nutrients: Most of us cook foods in high flames which causes a total loss of nutrients. Then we refrigerate it for long hours which worsens the condition of the foods thereby making the foods lack in most of the essential nutrients. Especially, Vata individuals with weak digestion should avoid leftovers altogether as it might cause stomach upset.
Though there are such compelling reasons for not eating leftovers, it cannot be avoided as well in our busy lives. So, in such circumstances, it is advisable to finish the leftovers within 48 hours at the latest. But in general, Unani recommends eating freshly prepared meals with fresh produce as much as possible to maintain overall well-being. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an unani practitioner.