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E-Pao! Essays - Functional value of food from Manipur

Functional value of food from Manipur

By: Ingochoba Lukram *



I am writing something regarding the functional food of Meetei and its usefulness and value to the health.

Last time I communicated with a dietitian from UK. She had our Manipuri dish some where in USA, which she was expressing in our web side E-pao.

She was so happy and amazing with the type of food and its style of preparation. After that I sent a message and started communication.

After that I wrote about the use of "Ngari" the main food or ingredient use by Meetei. I have explained something about it. Our Ngari from my point of view is a natural enzyme, which can digest the food we ingested. It contains lots of enzymes, which can digest the different forms of food like carbohydrate, lipid, protein etc., which we are taking.

So I am telling you to do one thing take two different curries one with Ngari and other without Ngari, and see the appetite and digestibility? After that you can observe the difference. Many people tease Meetei, by outsiders because of the bad smell of this Ngari, but now I came to know after doing research in Enzyme and protein that the substance or the solution containing high concentration of enzyme and protein gives a bad smell.

Like this I want to know the food values of each and every typical dishes. The letter below is send by the dietitian from UK to me.

---------------------------------------

Thanks for your reply Ingochouba Meetei Lukram I am also interested to know about the properties of Ngari. I'm glad your interested in researching its properties and hopefully find that it has beneficial properties, especially as it seems to be an intergral part of the Manipuri diet.

I admit I do not know much about its process of fermentation and have no nutritional information regarding its properties. I do know that there are benefits of certain types of fish, especially oily fish, which contain omega 3 fatty acids which are particularly promoted as part of a cardioprotective diet because of its antithrombotic, anti arrhythmic and lipid lowering properties.

And fish generally I would encourage as a lower fat source of protein. I am aware that the process of Ngari involves some kind of fermentation and preservation and I think salt may be added. I am not sure if the composition of the fish changes due to these processes and I do know that salt needs to be consumed in moderation-we recommend 6 grams a day.

So, hopefully with your future research we may be able to establish whether Ngari may be what would be termed a "functional food" if beneficial properties are found. Let me know of any evidence you find.

Thanks!

Regards
Leah Chung
Senior CHD Dietitian, UK




Ingochoba Lukram writes for the first time to e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at ingochouba7@yahoo.com
This article was webcasted on February 20, 2005.


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