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Why do we start our meal with spice and end with something sweet?

Read to find out the significance of eating sweets at the end of meals.

Written by Tania Tarafdar |Updated : October 14, 2016 1:00 PM IST

If you have ever eaten a traditional meal in weddings or festivals, you will know that the staple dal, vegetables, chapati, rice and pickles are served in the beginning and sweets are served at the end. Our ancestors stressed upon the fact that every meal should start with spicy foods and end with something sweet. But did you ever wonder why do we not eat the sweet first and then move on to other things spicy? It is not for nothing that our ancestors emphasised on the fact that we should end our meals with something sweet and it has a scientific reasoning to back it up. We spoke to Ayurveda expert Raman Mishra to tell us the significance of eating sweets at the end of a meal.

You know that when we eat spicy foods, the body secretes digestive juices and acids which enhance the digestive process. Eating spicy foods also ensures that the digestion goes on smooth. On the other hand sweets contain are full of carbohydrates which lead to sluggish digestion. At the same time, the intake of sugar enhances the absorption of amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is associated with the increase in the levels of serotonin a neurotransmitter which is linked to the feelings of well-being. That is the feeling we need to experience at the end of a full meal. This is the rationale behind the tradition that you should start every meal with something spicy and end it with sweets.

However, eating sweets prepared with white sugar is not considered healthy. It will not only add to your overall sugar intake but in the long run, it increases your risk of obesity and other related health conditions. Instead, use jaggery or brown sugar to make your sweet at home. In fact, organic jaggery can be your best bet. Here are a few more healthy substitutes for white sugar. Also, try this no-sugar oats and nuts laddoo.

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