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Top 10 Indian Superfoods.

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Engineer by profession. Healthy Lifestyle, Spirituality, Ayurveda, Indian Heritage, Travelling, Writing, Art are some of my interests.

10 Underrated Traditional Indian Superfood that need your attention RN!

What is Super-food? Food which are highly dense in nutrients are called as Super-foods. For most of us, the definition of super-food is Kale, Broccoli, berries, Tofu, Avocados, Greek yogurt etc. which is correct but the count doesn't stop here. There are some pocket friendly Indian food items which are easily available in our backyard or the groceries' store near by and more importantly, they are way too cheap. Recent researches have shown us that these traditional Indian Super-food deserve to be in the global list. Let's have a look on them.

veggiesandyou

What is Super-food? Food which are highly dense in nutrients are called as Super-foods. For most of us, the definition of super-food is Kale, Broccoli, berries, Tofu, Avocados, Greek yogurt etc. which is correct but the count doesn't stop here. There are some pocket friendly Indian food items which are easily available in our backyard or the groceries' store near by and more importantly, they are way too cheap. Recent researches have shown us that these traditional Indian Super-food deserve to be in the global list. Let's have a look on them.

1. GHEE

Ghee was created to prevent butter from spoiling in warm weathers. It has been used in Indian cooking and Ayurvedic medicines since ancient times. Due to its high fat content, it is avoided by few health conscious people but the health benefits of Ghee is something which you can't ignore. If consumed regularly, the antioxidants rich Ghee can do these wonders:

  • Enhances brain function.
  • Improve digestion.
  • Boost immunity.
  • Strengthens bones.
  • Act as a fat cutter and
  • Even prevents cancer.

A single tablespoon of Ghee a day is what all you need. Add it to your Dal, Chapatis or enjoy it with just hot served rice with a pinch of rock salt and black pepper.

Here is the Nutritional value of Ghee:

veggiesandyou

Source: healthline.com

Nutritional ValuesPer 14 gms (one tablespoon)

Calories

112

Fats

13

Saturated Fats

8

Monounsaturated Fats

4

Polyunsaturated Fats

0.5

Protein

trace amount

Carbohydrates

trace amount

Vitamin A

12% of the daily value

Vitamin E

2% of the daily value

Vitamin K

1% of the daily value

2. TURMERIC

veggiesandyou

Turmeric has been used in India for more than a thousands of years as a spice in the kitchen and as a medicinal herb. We have been hearing the magic of Haldi Milk from our grannies for decades now! Having its origin from the roots of Curcuma longa plant, turmeric can be easily included into any Indian curries lending a beautiful bright yellow color to it. Recently it has gained a lot of popularity in the West due to its following medicinal properties.

  • It offers significant anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Act as a great detoxifying agent.
  • Enhances liver functions.
  • Improves cardiovascular health.
  • Can help prevent and perhaps even treat Cancer.

Absorption of Turmeric in bloodstream can be enhanced greatly by adding few black pepper kernels along with it.

3. AMLA

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Commonly known as Indian Gooseberry, this translucent green super-food has now gained the recognition it deserved. Due to its antioxidant power, this vitamin rich super fruit is known to be a divine medicine because it:

  • Fights common cold.
  • Burn fats.
  • Improves eyesight.
  • Act as an excellent pain reliever.
  • Alleviate chronic conditions.
  • Build and strengthens immunity.
  • Promotes hair, skin and nails.
  • Regulates blood sugar level.
  • Fight anemia and gestational diabetes during pregnancy.

It can be consumed as a juice in empty stomach or as a chutney with your meals.

Nutritional Value of Amla:

Source: As per USDA (netmeds.com)

Nutritional ValuesPer 100 grams

Energy

44 Kcal

Carbohydrates

10.18 g

Protein

0.88 g

Total Fat

0.58 g

Dietary Fibre

4.3 g

Folates

6 mcg

Niacin

0.3 mg

Pantothenic Acid

0.286 mg

Pyridoxine

0.08 mg

Riboflavin

0.03 mg

Thiamin

0.04 mg

Vitamin A

290 IU

Vitamin C

27.7 mg

Potassium

198 mg

Calcium

25 mg

Copper

0.07 mg

Iron

0.31 mg

Magnesium

10 mg

Manganese

0.144 mg

Phosphorous

27 mg

Zinc

0.12 mg

4. CURD

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Curd is formed by coagulating milk in a sequential process termed curdling. It is essentially a summer super-food containing almost 20% of our daily calcium requirement. It is carminative in nature and about 3/4th of a cup can contain around 150 calories. Eating it regularly can do these wonders:

  • Boost immunity
  • Strengthens bones, teeth, and muscles.
  • Enhance digestion.
  • Improves cardiovascular health.
  • Beat stress.
  • Helps losing weight.

Try having at least one bowl of curd daily with your breakfast or lunch. Some people prefer to consume it as Raita by adding grated cucumber (Kheera Raita) or some fruits (Fruit Raita) in it which makes it mouth-watering.

5. JACKFRUIT

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It can be considered as a whole meal replacing rice and chapatis as this super-food can be a fruit, nut, or a vegetable vegan meat. It is rich in carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins, electrolytes, phytonutrients, dietary fats and many minerals and nutrients. Research suggests that it can provide these many health benefits or even more:

  • Beat diabetes.
  • Prevent colon cancer.
  • Promotes digestion.
  • Prevent constipation.
  • Increase longevity.
  • Helps you drop weight.
  • Reduce cholesterol.

For a quick energy boost, go for a jackfruit!

6. MAKHANAS

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Also known as lotus seed or fox nut, this super-food is highly rich in protein and minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium. They are low in cholesterol, fat, and sodium. Due to its low-glycemic index and fat content, it can be a good snack option for children as well as adults. Oh, and did you know these benefits makhanas could have?

  • De-stress our mind.
  • Cures insomnia.
  • Possesses anti-aging properties.
  • Cures high blood pressure.
  • Prevents heart disease.
  • Improves urination.

7. RAGI

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Ragi or Nachni, also known as foxtail millet is a powerhouse of nutrients. Well! that you can see:

  • High in Protein.
  • Antioxidant Rich.
  • Gluten free.
  • Loaded with Calcium and fibre.
  • Rich in iron and vitamin D.

And the magic it does with all these super powers are:

  • Can regulates Blood sugar levels.
  • Cures diabetes.
  • Reduces the risk of stroke.
  • Act as a natural relaxant.
  • Helps in reducing weight.
  • Enhance immunity.
  • Build strong bones and teeth.
  • Act as anti-inflammatory.
  • Prevents constipation.
  • Enhances production of Red blood cells.

8. JAU

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Commonly know as Barley, this super-food is actually a boon as it helps in burning carbs and fats. Rich in calcium, iron, protein, and vitamin E, Jau can be eaten as a cereal, rolled out in the form of chapatis, or can even be consumed with water (Barley-Water). It has now become more popular as its carbohydrates have low glycemic index. Along with killing hunger, it can also:

  • Lower cholesterol levels in blood.
  • Treat urinary infections.
  • Maintain blood sugar level.
  • Detoxify your body.

Source:Wikipedia

Nutritional ValuePer 100 gms

Energy

123kcal

Carbohydrates

28.2 gm

Fat

0.4 gm

Protein

2.3 gm

Thiamine (Vitamin B1)

0.083 mg

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

0.062 mg

Niacin (Vitamin B3)

2.063 mg

Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)

0.135 mg

Vitamin B6

0.115 mg

Folate (Vitamin B9)

16 ug

Vitamin K

0.8 ug

Choline

13.4 mg

Calcium

11 mg

Copper

0.105 mg

Iron

22 mg

Magnesium

0.259 mg

Phosphorous

54 mg

Pottasium

93 mg

Sodium

3 mg

Zinc

0.82 mg

Water

68.8 gm

Cholesterol

0 mg

9. COCONUT

veggiesandyou

Growing in tropical regions for more than 4500 years, this super-food has recently gained a lot of popularity due to its great health benefits and flavor. Coconut can be consumed in various ways:

  1. Coconut Water is the best drink to detox your body since it is fat-free and contains high ascorbic acid, protein, and vitamin B.
  2. The white meat inside it tastes delicious when consumed raw.
  3. Coconut milk and cream are made by pressing the raw grated white meat and are used in a variety of dishes for their superb taste. It is also used as a major ingredient in moisturizers.
  4. Coconut oil extracted from the meat is used in many households for cooking and oiling hairs.

Along with these, it has some great health benefits:

  • Promotes blood sugar control.
  • Lowers the risk of heart diseases.
  • Protects cell from oxidative damage as it contains powerful antioxidants.

10. DALIYA

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Also known as broken wheat, this super-food is very healthy and is loads of benefits. As it contains negligible fat and is an excellent source of protein, it is found on the breakfast table of most Indian households. It is highly rich in fibre, vitamin B and manganese and a good source of macro and micronutrients. Due to its high nutrient content, it helps to seek these health benefits:

  • Cures constipation.
  • Increases metabolism.
  • Helps to reduce weight.
  • Prevents diabetes.
  • Lowers the risk of breast cancer.


Although the list of super-foods doesn't end here, these are top picks on the basis of their availability and prices so that they can easily fit into an average household.

Eat healthily! Stay healthy! :)

© 2021 Ayushi

Comments

E Randall from United States on January 30, 2021:

Great information, I have always wanted to try Amla. I watch a program called Homeveda and the host uses Gooseberries in a lot of home remedies. I really want to find some and try them out for myself. Thanks for posting this great article.

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