Ironically, it is our generation that’s the unhealthiest. The kind of stamina and longevity that our parents and grandparents boasted of, is all whoosh! The reason is simple, they didn’t have advertisements and blog posts telling them that ‘Turmeric-Milk is a natural analgesic and a rich source of antioxidants’ or ‘A spoonful of Gooseberry Preserve (Amle ka Murabba) a day, keeps all gastric problems away!’ Rather, they trusted age-old traditions and culinary wisdom that was carried down the ages.
Shunning the ‘Aping West’ Syndrome
Celebrated Nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar has written about our ill-conceived notions about dieting. She emphasizes the importance of staying loyal to one’s genes, eating local produce and seasonal fruits, as opposed to purchasing exotic, imported stuff like Lettuce and Leek from the Cold Storage. One of the best examples she gives is pertaining to the recent Indian ‘awakening’ to Olive Oil, courtesy manipulative marketing campaigns. Considering the fact that we have the cooking mediums like Sesame Oil, Mustard Oil and Peanut Oil, we needn’t look elsewhere!
As a matter of fact, Fitness Icon Shilpa Shetty had unveiled her book “The Great Indian Diet” in 2015. The book talks about how our very Indian, locally-grown and sourced ingredients are in fact the most nutritious. But in our ‘zest to ape the west’, we’re forgetting our culinary heritage. She has specifically mentioned about her ‘post-pregnancy weight loss’, accrediting it not to a fancy GM diet or Atkins Diet, but good-old Indian ‘Rajma-Chawal’!
Ok, cutting to the chase; here are 9 reasons why Indian cuisine is super-healthy:-For the bland palate of the Westerner, Indian food might be ‘too spicy’. But we’re accustomed to the use of flavorful, aromatic spices like Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Cloves etc in our food. And research studies have proven that many of these spices have anti-cancer properties. In your face, curry-haters!
Turmeric, which is used in almost all Indian curries, lentils and dry preparations, has myriad health benefits. Apart from being known to be a natural antiseptic, it is also known for its anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
Recent studies on the low frequency of Alzheimer’s in India has revealed that the generous use of ginger (and turmeric again) has to do with keeping this metal condition at bay. Ginger is also a powerful digestive and natural painkiller.
Despite being considered as the root cause of heart diseases and cholesterol, Indian Clarified Butter (Desi Ghee) has been found to be much healthier as compared to Refined Oil, Butter or Margarine. It is known to have multiple benefits for the brain, nervous system, improves bone density, eases complications during pregnancy and when taken in small quantities regularly, actually fights bad cholesterol and trans fats in your body. So it’s time to re-add that dash of ghee to your chapattis!
Contrary to popular opinion, the most popular Indian food combo of Dal-Chawal offer complete nutrition, which includes 9 essential amino acids and vitamin B. But most importantly, rice is a rich source of essential amino acid methionine, which is essential for fat-burning. There’s nothing more satiating than a bowl of Rice and Dal, with a dollop of ghee!
Next time you have an uncontrollable snacking urge, skip the burger, french fries and mayo. Have a bowlful of Ghee-Roasted Makhanas (Lotus Seeds) or bowl of steamed chickpeas, both abundant in Magnesium, Iron, Zinc and Potassium. Similarly, the Indian Mint-Yogurt dip is way healthier (and rich in calcium) as opposed to Cholesterol-laden Mayo.
If you’re a fan of the yummy pungent flavor of garlic, there’s good news for you. Not only is garlic known to be heart-healthy, but also helps in controlling blood sugar and alleviating Hypertension.
The traditional Indian meal of Rice, Lentils, Chapattis and Vegetables is the hallmark of a balanced diet, providing all 5 essential nutrients (Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fat, Vitamins and Minerals) in adequate proportions.
One cannot talk of Indian cuisine without paying due attention to yoghurt. Consumed in various forms like Raita, Chutney, Buttermilk, Lassi etc, yoghurt is not just rich in Vitamin B-Complex, Protein and Calcium, but is also a powerful probiotic!