5 Superfoods You Can Find In Most Indian Kitchens
In the new age of chia seeds, quinoa, bulgur, buckwheat and millet, ever felt pressured to get on the superfood bandwagon and spend money on these expensive ingredients? Well, don’t! The fact is that given the construct of the average Indian thali that’s packed with spices, colourful veggies and whole grain, you’re already eating a flurry of superfoods without even knowing it.
What is a superfood?
Simply put, a superfood is an ingredient where the nutrients per portion are significantly higher than the average. Everything from antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, potassium, manganese, calcium, and more can make up the nutrients that these superfoods deliver.
Although it should be noted that no single food is a miracle cure for diseases and ailments. But, a diet rich in superfoods can support a healthy lifestyle by boosting your immunity and preventing deficiencies.
So, are you ready to find the superfoods in your kitchen?
Yes, good old haldi tops the charts when it comes to superfoods with many benefits. From drinking haldi doodh (milk) and using it in your facials for a glowing skin to dabbing it on a wound and even brushing your teeth with it to prevent tooth decay, turmeric has always been a trusted go-to among Indians. And with good reason.
Curumin, the active compound in turmeric, makes it an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. In fact, it’s also known to have anti-malarial and anti-parasitic properties. The medicinal plant and its extracts are rich in a plethora of nutrients like manganese, iron, fibre, vitamins B6 and C, potassium and magnesium, too.
Also rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, ginger in its powdered form, as a root, or even as an oil is a powerful superfood with multiple benefits. It has other nutrients like vitamin C, B6, zinc, iron, folate, riboflavin, niacin and magnesium. It can be used as an analgesic to relieve digestion and nausea, and as an antibacterial to fight throat infections, colds and the flu. Ginger is also known to support liver health.
3) Sabja or Basil Seeds
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Move over chia seeds. The good old sabja commonly used in falooda and other Indian beverages is India’s answer to the superfood. With similar characteristics, sabja seeds swell and take up more space in your stomach, making you feel fuller for longer and in turn, aiding weight loss. The high fibre content makes them a natural alternative to regulate bowel movements. They’re packed with omega-3s that nourish the body, skin and hair and reduce effects of free radicals that otherwise age the body.
The king of all superfoods when it comes to maintaining a healthy digestive system, the naturally warm essence of ajwain makes it great for everything from constipation and bloating to gas, and diarrhoea. It can prevent infections like salmonella, e-coli and even stomach ulcers.
Ajwain’s anti-bacterial and anti-microbial makes it great for colds and coughs and the anti-inflammatory properties also support pain relief. It also has nutrients like iron, calcium, sodium, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine and niacin.
5) Bottle Gourd, Lauki, or Doodhi
Naturally alkalising, hydrating and cooling, this vegetable rich in soluble dietary fibre is over 90% water. So, while it may not be the most appetising part of your plate, it’s a boon for those trying to lose weight, combatting acidity or struggling to regulate their digestion. In fact, the vegetable should come with the stickers ‘Low-Calorie’ and ‘Fat-Free’ for people to sit up and take notice. Bottle gourd is packed with potassium, pectin, folate and calcium, and is rich in vitamins A and C.
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