Clay for Health: Benefits of Clay Pot Cooking

Pottery is the art of creating vessels and other items out of clay and other ceramic materials and then firing them at high temperatures to give them a tough and long-lasting shape.

Pottery is a therapeutic art form that has been used for hundreds of years and has been shown to have positive effects on both the body and the intellect. Pottery is frequently described as calming and healing. Your body and mind naturally work together to spin clay while you focus on your creative aspirations and objectives. This reflective, artistic activity can clear your thoughts and make you less concerned about the outer world.


Clay pot cooking has declined in popularity because metal pots have become more readily available, but it is still used to prepare foods such biryani, cassoulet, daube, tagine, jollof rice, kedjenou, cazuela, and baked beans that rely on the characteristics of ceramic cooking.


Types of Clay for Pottery:

Clay used in pottery comes in five primary varieties. These include porcelain, ball clay, fire clay, stoneware, and earthenware.


Ball Clay: A raw material called ball clay is typically offered for sale in powdered form. Ball clay stands out for its high degree of plasticity. Clay is incredibly flexible, making it easy to work with. Once moulded, it holds its shape well and is simple to construct. Clay crystals or very small clay particles make up ball clay. Ball clay particles provide a wide surface area for water to attach to because they are so finely divided. Additionally, there is plenty of room between the clay granules for water to dwell. Ball clay is frequently used to create terra sigillata because it contains fine particles. Using this highly refined clay slip, pottery can be embellished to a high sheen.


Fire Clay: Fire clay is typically sold in a powdered form, similar to ball clay. The primary characteristic of fire clay is its extremely high firing temperature. In actuality, fire clay melts at a temperature of about 29.12F. It matures at about 26.96F as well. Fire clay, like ball clay, is added as a filler when it is used in pottery clay. Adding it to stoneware clay is common. Additionally, its main purpose is to expand the clay body's temperature firing range. Fire clay serves a variety of purposes in addition to being utilized in other clay bodies. For instance, it is used to create oven and kiln bricks, which must obviously withstand high temperatures.


Earthenware: Low fire clays are those used in earthenware. Many earthenware clays are red or orange in colour. This is due to the fact that it frequently contains a large amount of iron oxide, which is basically rust. Earthenware clay can, however, also be yellow, white, tan, or buff in colour. After being burned, some earthenware clay can appear highly refined and smooth. However, compared to other types of clay or pottery, earthenware clay is known to look more earthy, coarse, and rustic. Earthenware clay is less dense and less resilient than other varieties of clay because it is more porous. Because of this, earthenware is more likely to shatter and break than stoneware or porcelain. Earthenware clay needs to be glaze fired in order to become waterproof and hence appropriate for use in tableware. The gorgeous, deep red clay known as terracotta is frequently used to create plant pots and other items of this nature.


Stoneware: The term "stoneware" is used to describe a wide range of distinct clay bodies. But general terms, stoneware is resilient after being fired, as its name suggests. It is denser, more durable against cracks and chips, and less porous than earthenware clay. When burnt, earthenware clay creates less glass than stoneware clay. For dinnerware and water-holding containers like vases, stoneware is a popular choice of clay. Compared to earthenware pottery, stoneware is less prone to chipping and breakage.


 Porcelain: Porcelain clay is one of the most expensive varieties of clay for making pottery. Kaolin clay is another name for porcelain clay. However, kaolin, commonly referred to as china clay, is an extremely pure type of white clay. In reality, kaolin is a key component in a larger variety of porcelain forms of clay. Porcelain clay bodies typically include other materials. Although it can appear quite rough and elegant, porcelain is actually incredibly tough and non-porous. Thus, it has numerous and varied functions. It can be applied to intricate creative sculpture. Additionally, due of its usefulness, it is a fantastic choice for practical items like dinnerware. Due of its sturdiness, it is resistant to cracks and chips. Additionally, its low porosity is advantageous in terms of food safety.


Health Benefits of Pottery:

Creative outlet: Expressing yourself through creation has both physical and mental advantages. An outlet and a relief from all of that are provided through art. You can create something and in some way express yourself through ceramics.


Increase optimistic outlook: Pottery encourages improvements in flow and spontaneity, offers a way to express sadness, and aids in self-identification and self-expression. It boosts confidence and self-esteem.


Improves Focus: Pottery enables you to put life's troubles aside and concentrate on your creativity. During the procedure, external factors have no impact on your work, allowing you to devote all of your time to it. Fully concentrating on anything allows the mind to open up and unwind, which will improve your ability to concentrate in other aspects of your life as well.


Exploring and Experimentation: Pottery encourages exploration and experimentation, which is essentially an expansion of who we are and how we relate to ourselves and our environment. People of all ages can use it to learn more about what they can do. There's no right or wrong method to make pottery, so you might be more creative than you realise.


Reduces Stress: Our hands are a creative outlet, and the sensation of touch is vital. Making pottery requires intense concentration, so you are less bothered and distracted by other factors.


Exercises the hands, wrists, and arms: Making pottery involves a soft yet resolutely energizing motion for the hands, wrists, and arms. As it encourages joint movement and dexterity, this may be advantageous for persons who are prone to hand arthritis.


Encourage sociability: For people who like to use their energy internally, pottery is a great hobby because it stimulates both cerebral and physical activity. On the other hand, while participating in group pottery, one can safely interact with other potters while still allowing for silence. Any social anxiety is relieved by the often informal environment, which makes it easier to strike up a discussion.


Natural Pain Reliever: Stress frequently causes unpleasant pain and discomfort feelings. Participating in pottery, a hobby known for lowering stress and promoting self-esteem, may help ease the pain brought on by stress.


Captures Memories: Archaeological excavations are renowned for finding antiquities from long-gone civilizations. Pottery-based artefacts are among the best-preserved objects, frequently surviving for thousands of years. Because of this, Your art has the potential to last a lifetime. Seeing the invention in its finished state will act as a reminder of your achievements, whether or not you want to have it sit in your home's foyer or be discovered by future civilizations and preserved in a museum.


Enhanced Quality of Life: Self-expression is a key aspect of art. By enlarging your body and mind, it is a terrific method to connect with oneself. A lifetime commitment to studying and upholding a beneficial interest can be made by taking on new projects, picking up new skills, and finishing your work.


Health Benefits of Clay pot cooking:


Add Nutrients and Neutralize the pH level: Clay pots provide meals with a variety of essential elements, including calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, and sulphur, all of which are very good for our bodies. Since clay is also alkaline, it serves to balance out the acidity in food, which facilitates simpler digestion for us.


Reduce the Use of Oil: Vegetables, for example, can be cooked slowly and with little oil because they are heat-resistant. Earthenware pots preserve the oil and add moisture to food, preventing the need for extra fat to enhance flavor. Cooking in a clay pot does not require oil, and as a result, food prepared this way tends to have considerably lower fat content than food made in any other way.


Keeps the Nutritional Value: Clay pots allow heat and moisture to circulate through the meal while cooking slowly, maintaining the dish's nutritious value. This frequently disappears in metal utensils. Particularly when cooking meats, the thermal inertia aids in the denaturation of muscle proteins and the full breakdown of collagen, keeping the flesh soft for a longer period of time.


Add an Earthy Flavor: After cooking in an earthen pot, your meal will have an unrivaled scent. Economical: Clay pots are inexpensive and easy on the wallet. In practically every region of the nation, clay pots are easily accessible. They are available in a variety of sizes and forms, so you may choose the one that best suits your needs. Because earthenware pots are inexpensive, you may prepare upscale meals without breaking the bank. Additionally, by acquiring one, you unintentionally assist a family financially as the practice of cooking in clay pots is on the verge of extinction.

Clay Pots Are Good for Heart: One of the main factors contributing to weight gain is using too much oil when cooking. Clay pots are one of the finest solutions if you want to cook your food with less oil, as they use very little oil to do so. The natural moisture and oils found in the food are preserved thanks to the slower cooking and longer heating times of these pots.


Staff Writer