Powerful Indian Superfoods

This article is authored by Karishma Chawla. She is a practising nutritionist and a weight loss expert..

Superfoods are nutrient dense foods that help the body to perform optimally. Food serves as information and has medicinal properties that help the body heal itself. Let’s have a look at a list of superfoods that are easily available in our Indian kitchens and markets.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are good source of lycopene, an antioxidant excellent for fighting heart disease, cancer and is great for skin. Cooking tomatoes in olive oil increases its bio-availability. Tomatoes can be had as a soup, stir fry, curries, salads or made into a healthy sauce with some capsicum (bell pepper), mushrooms, herbs and spices and consumed with grilled chicken or fish. This is a great replacement for readymade sauces which can be high on sodium and sugar.

Mushrooms:  Many people hate the texture and appearance of mushrooms. However, if you actually learn about its medicinal properties, you might just change your mind! Mushrooms are one of the best anti-inflammatory foods that help to keep diseases at bay.  Additionally, they are good source of protein and B vitamins. They can be added in soups, curries, stir fry, grilled and as an ingredient in patties and eaten regularly.

Turmeric: This spice is the most potent anti- inflammatory agent. In fact, India has the lowest cases of Alzheimer’s diseases due to its regular use of turmeric in cooking. The secret of this ancient spice is curcumin, a compound well-studied for its health benefits. Curcumin is believed to halt an enzyme that may be responsible for turning environmental toxins into carcinogens in the body. This is one reason turmeric has long been a remedy for helping protect the body from the effects of smoking or chewing tobacco. Curcumin may also improve digestion of fats and sugars and help alleviate inflammation in the digestive system. It is even used in the mouth to help alleviate gum problems as well. This can be added in all curries and dishes. Try Tata Sampann Turmeric which is sourced from the fields of Salem which are known for their turmeric produce. It contains minimum 3% curcumin in each packet.

Ghee: There is a notion that ghee leads to weight gain and must be totally avoided in the diet. Well, ghee like any other good fat can and must be consumed moderately to reap its benefits. Ghee is a rich source of butyric acid that helps to lower inflammation, aids immunity and helps to boost digestive health. It also helps with the detoxification process of the body. It can be added to cook any food.

Bitter gourd: This vegetable is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. It contains iron, magnesium and vitamins like A and C. It also contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce blood sugar levels, making it a great food for pre-diabetics and diabetics. It can be had as a sabzi or added to a smoothie.

Brinjal (Eggplant): This purple-colored vegetable is healthy because it contains compounds that are anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory. It may protect the heart and brain from damage and promote healthy cognition and memory. Being a good source of fiber, it also aids digestive health. It can be had as a sabzi or could be creatively used to make a healthy sauce at home which can be paired with a lean protein.

This list proves that you do not have to hunt for nutrient dense foods or spend a fortune on them. These foods are present right in your kitchen! Try to incorporate these superfoods in your meals regularly to avail their nutritional benefits.

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