While the Indians are constantly looking for newer routes and options to become more westernized, the West is adopting old age Indian traditions and Indian foods such as , Yoga and turmeric latte (haldi doodh) for their innumerable health benefits.
Certain Indian foods which have been a part of the staple diet during the older years had been demonized and touted as unhealthy in the recent past. However, a lot of these foods are back in demand owing to their nutritious values and are now being labeled as superfoods.
Ghee- Clarified Butter
Ghee has always been a part of the Indian diet but had recently earned a reputation for being loaded with calories. Currently, ghee is a global superfood and at 150 calories per tablespoon is known to be loaded with essential fats which give the body the requisite energy and help in curing respiratory problems, boost immunity, improve immunity and brain function and improve digestion. Free of carbohydrates and sodium, most nutritionists recommend adding a tablespoon of ghee to your daily diet.
Moong dal -Split mung beans
Replacing fatty food items with a bowl of moong dal is a smart choice as it contains only 106 calories and is loaded with protein and fiber. Moong dal, a traditional Indian favorite, has also been proven to boost immunity and metabolism in the long run. Having a bowl of moong dal daily with your meals ensures a generous dose of Vitamins A, B, C and E along with essential minerals like calcium and iron which make you stronger and leaner.
Tamarind colloquially known as imli, an ingredient commonly present in chutney haven’t been given the recognition and status it deserves. The olden Indian texts claim that tamarind is a valuable ingredient laden with anti-inflammatory properties which are very effective in reducing fever and cholesterol.
Tamarind has also been proven to be an essential agent in prevention of kidney stones. Low in calories and devoid of carbohydrates, tamarind is definitely a food item which should feature in one’s daily diet and take precedence over expensive, western ingredients. Tamarind also helps in restoring hair gain and has amazing skin benefits as it helps in curing acne, moisturizing the skin and as a natural remedy for cellulite.
Ragi -Finger millet
Why clear hectares of land to grow quinoa which isn’t a native of India when ragi, an underrated superfood, is readily available? Also known as finger millet, this grain is a complex carbohydrate which contains bran, germ and endosperm and is loaded with calcium which makes the bones and joints stronger. Presence of fiber, iron and vitamins is the reason ragi is able to circulate blood sugar levels and reduce chances of cardiac problems which lend this grain the status of a superfood.
Sabja seeds – Basil seeds
Sabja seeds or basil seeds are completely ignored Indian foods which have endless health advantages. A handful of these seeds soaked in water are great diet supplements as it kills hunger pangs and accelerates weight loss. These humble seeds contain compound minerals like iron, omega 3 fatty acids and calcium which help in detoxing your body. The rich anti-bacterial content along with vitamins, A, B, E and K make sabja a must-add superfood to your diet. People suffering from diabetes are recommended to eat sabja seeds as these seeds soaked in water help in stabilizing blood sugar levels
Shunned as the “poor man’s wheat” previously, jau or barley is in high demand nowadays because of its carb and fat burning properties. It has gained popularity in terms fighting hunger pangs and lowering cholesterol. The complex carbs in barley have a very low glycemic index which raises the blood sugar levels way slower than other foods. Presence of essential minerals like iron, proteins and Vitamin E makes Jau a much better choice than wheat or oats. Barley is an all-rounder grain and can be consumed in form of barley water, rotis, dosas or simply as cereal.
This seasonal, tropical fruit has unfortunately gained a bad reputation for being fattening among fruits. It contains a few more calories than other fruits but the health benefits of mangoes shouldn’t be overlooked which is why doctors advise people to eat a mango daily in summers to protect themselves from the heatstroke and improve digestion. The high levels of vitamin C, pectin and fiber are very effective in lowering the cholesterol levels of the body where as the liberal amounts of antioxidants are considered to fight colon, breast, leukaemia and prostate cancers. A mango a day restores the alkaline balance of the body, improves eyesight and gives the devourer clear skin. They are also seen as aphrodisiacs as they’re rich in Vitamin E ensuring a better sex life.
Hence, the fad trend of the recent times of shifting back to consuming local produce over imported foods looks like it’s there to stay. It is a better proposition for the local farmers as well as an opportunity for us to connect back to our roots and devour the foods our ancestors consumed. With numerous health benefits, these superfoods will only positively contribute to our daily diet.
Written byNiharika Nandi
Niharika Nandi is a media trainee who loves exploring the fields of photography and baking simultaneously. She’s a self-proclaimed professional bathroom singer and believes that caffeine runs through her veins. This adrenaline junkie loves to pen down a million thoughts gushing through her mind at any instant and is very vocal about LGBTQ rights