To most of us, superfoods mean exotic foods such as kale, broccoli, blueberries, acai berries, Greek yogurt and olive oil. Recent research, however, shows that traditional Indian food items also deserve superfood status.
These 7 local and traditional foods rank higher than exotic items any day:
Once dismissed for its “fatty” nature, ghee today has acquired global superfood status. It is nutritionally dense with one tablespoon containing 135 calories and 9 grams of saturated fat – 45 percent of the recommended daily diet. It is also free of carbohydrates, sodium, sugar, fiber and protein. Consumed regularly, ghee can enhance brain function, improve digestion, boost immunity, help melt fat and prevent certain cancers. Pour a dollop over your dal-chawal now!
The humble Indian gooseberry is the original superfood and it’s time to accord it the recognition it deserves. The translucent green fruit has eight times more vitamin C than an orange, twice the antioxidant power of acai berry and around 17 times that of a pomegranate. Amla can help fight the common cold, burn fat, improve eyesight, build immunity and manage chronic conditions and relieve pain. Isn’t it reason enough to have amla every day?
The world’s been swooning over turmeric latte off late, but our grannies have been advocating haldi waala doodh for decades now! Haldi, which comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, offers significant anti-inflammatory benefits. Turmeric helps detoxification, enhances liver function, inhibits certain types of cancers and improves cardiovascular health.
Quinoa may be extremely popular but have you tried home-grown ragi–or finger millet? This super grain contains all three parts of the kernel – bran, germ and endosperm – and is loaded with calcium and fiber. Rich in iron and vitamin D, it can regulate blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of stroke, help you lose weight and works as a natural relaxant.
Essentially a summer superfood, whose benefits can actually be enjoyed all year long. About 3/4 cup of curd contains 100-150 calories and provides your body with 20 percent of the daily calcium it needs. Eaten regularly, it can boost immunity, improve digestion and cardiovascular health, strengthen bones and teeth, help you lose weight and beat stress. This is one of the 7 healthy foods your fridge must always have.
This carb-burning grain – jau or barley – is a boon because it actually helps in burning fat as well! Once known as the “poor man’s wheat”, it is now popular due to its hunger-fighting and cholesterol-lowering potential. The carbohydrates in jau have a low glycemic index, meaning they raise the blood sugar level more slowly as, compared to other foods. it also contains iron, calcium, proteins and vitamin E. Jau can be eaten as cereal, rotis or any other preparation or consumed in the form of barley water.
Scaling the health food popularity charts these days, jackfruit is a multitasker: It can be a fruit, nut, vegetable vegan meat or a carbohydrate. Its use as chakka, a whole meal that’s an alternative to rice and roti, has now come to the forefront. Why’s it a winning choice? It can help you drop weight, beat diabetes, reduce cholesterol, prevent colon cancer and increase longevity.
Wondering how to work these superfoods into your daily diet? Our nutritionists can help you with a customized plan.