In olden times the cutlery in a house defined the status of a person. The kings and the rich use to have food in the utensils made of precious metals like gold, silver, etc while the poor had the utensils made of clay.
But there is more to just the social status of a person. In India traditionally most of the metals were used as utensils and it was more than just a vessel the food got cooked in. Every metal imparted it’s unique properties in the process of making, serving and storing the food in them.
Have you heard of keeping the pickles & chutneys in the glass containers helps them last longer as the glass is non-reactive. Let’s explore the food 2 go 4 with various metals and what it does to our body.
1. Bronze (कांसा )
Kansa is an Indian name for bell metal or bronze. As goes the saying “Kansyam Buddhivardhakam” in Sanskrit, meaning Kansa / Bronze is good for the brain. This ancient metal is rarely used these days, Bronze is one of them, it offers immense benefits. Specifically, it pacifies Vata (dry skin, nervous temperament, irritability) and pitta. It also helps reduce obesity, improve eyesight, and skin condition. Another notable thing about Bronze metal is it reduces the loss of nutrients during cooking, to as low as just 3%. One important point to remember does not store or keep anything sour (like curd ) in bronze vessels as it may react with sour food and make it poisonous.
The Bronze vessels are very heavy as compared to the other metals. Know in details about Bronze as a metal
2. Gold ( सोना )
Gold is considered a ‘noble’ Metal as it does not oxidize or corrode in moist air, unlike many others. This makes them perfect for use in food items as most contain a high amount of moisture. The food made in gold metal strengthens the body from within and outside, making us string and works in enhancing the eyesight.
The use of edible gold in food is a practice stemming back thousands of years back to honor gods, boost vitality, and also to show off one’s wealth. Today, this practice has evolved somewhat to give diners a chance to experience a touch of decadence, Pure gold is safe to eat (unless someone suffers from a gold allergy which is quite rare). In fact, dentists today continue to use gold in fillings due to their durability. The gold dust is widely used in the pâtisserie for decorating cakes and pastries , even lot of sweet dishes have gold dust on them, Lot of cafe’s serve coffee with Saw dust. I had one at Di Bella Coffee
Unlike Gold silver is a cool metal, known to calm the body and sharpen the mind. Also, it is very favorable for controlling cold and cough, enhances eyesight. You must have seen people wearing pearl rings made with silver in their small finger and that is recommended for anger management. Similarly, infants take their first meal in silverware when they turn 6 months, and that’s seen as a tradition in India. And that way the first utensil a kid gets is made of silver.
4. Copper ( तांबा ) :
Have you ever noticed people carrying water in copper bottles, or rings on their fingers or a copper bangle? Copper is an essential nutrient for the body. Together with iron, it enables the body to form red blood cells and acts as a blood purifier. It helps maintain healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves, and immune function, and it contributes to iron absorption. Sufficient copper in the diet may help prevent cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, too. Copper is also very effective for Joint stiffness and Joint pain, Thousands of people have felt relief and relaxation from joint problems, especially those with joint stiffness.
If you are having a copper bottle please ensure that you keep the water in it overnight. Even in case of thyroid drinking water kept overnight in copper vessels help
5. Brass (पीतल )
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, therefore needless to say that it has properties of copper as well as zinc. Water stored in a brass vessel increases strength and immunity.” Besides, it also helps pacify pitta (burning sensations, aggression), increases hemoglobin count, and improves the general condition of your skin. Here’s something notable about this metal Eating in brass utensils is not harmful but cooking is. Brass easily reacts with salt and acidic foods, when it is heated. Hence, cooking in such utensils must be avoided.
6. Iron ( लोहा )
Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel was referred to as the “Iron man of India ”, no of course this has no relevance of food in Iron vessel, But cooking in Iron does add iron to the food which is very important for strength and RBC. But you should not eat in Iron vessels as that’s not good for the brain. Drinking milk in an Iron utensil is still okay. Iron plays its basic role in exchanging gases mainly oxygen from lungs to all over the body cells.
7. Steel ( स्टील )
If you have a lot of cutlery in your house that is made of Steel than the good news is that it is neither good nor bad as Steel is non-reactive metal thus its completely neutral to add anything to your food, but since its an alloy made of iron, therefore, be sure of the quality of Iron.
8. Aluminum (एलुमिनियम )
Aluminum is as common as steel in the Indian kitchen. But this metal is not very good as other metals are. We all have pressure cookers made of almunium but cooking in pressure cooker kills 85% of the nutrients.
Some unpleasant effects of eating food cooked in aluminum are hyper-acidity, peptic ulcers, indigestion, flatulence, skin problems like pigmentation, eczema, dandruff, and chronic inflammation of the intestine. Aluminum reduces the growth of bone and predisposes to osteoporosis.
Check this Article by Dr. Manik
9.Clay ( मिट्टी )
Kullad chai is loved by all, it has its own aroma and its own flavor. Have you tried drinking water from a clay pot in summers, it’s cold and it has a aroma of its own.
While I was a kid I had the chance to drink the milk boiled in Clay pots, And I can say that was the best milk I have ever had. It boils for over 3-4 hours and then it cools down.
Clay is alkaline in nature and it interacts with the acidity in the food, thereby neutralizing the pH balance and eventually making food healthier and a lot tastier. It is believed to provide the required minerals including calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and sulfur that benefit our health It is scientifically proven that food cooked in Clay vessel is nutritious and good for the body, it also retains 100% nutrition of any food due to its slow cooking technique. ( Check this blog for clay pots )
So what are you going to change in your kitchen now, I am definitely removing almunium from my kitchen, and adding more of iron and clay pots. It’s important to choose your cooking wares wisely and use the right vessel to make the food healthy.
This is such an informative article, all the more important as we all have been re-prioritizing our choices wrt Food during the Lockdown.
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Felt the same while writing this
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Very good article. Intresting for todays lifestyle. Keep posting more
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Thanks so much