Here Are The 9 Healthiest Ingredients In Indian Food!


When you talk about some of the most common ingredients in Indian food curd and spices like turmeric comes first to our mind. But there are so many other ingredients that you might know but are extremely beneficial for your health. 

Spices we use in your kitchen are some of the healthiest ingredients that you are using following your grandmother and mother recipes. If we talk about the geographic regions, the Mediterranean diet is one of the best-known diets. However, you cannot beat India when it comes to the healthiest traditional cuisine with so many health benefits.  

In India, the consumption of plant-based protein is high, like the consumption of whole grains, lentils, fermented foods, beans and home set curd etc is highly consumed. The foods items changes based on the area the person is living and also if you are from Indian you know that we eat different flour based on the season like during summers wheat flour is common and during winter bajra is consumed. 

The marketing gimmick of multiple grains is new for many of us because if we look at our food culture, we were eating different flour based on the seasons and mixing multiple flours was not at all necessary. 

Ingredients that you can find in Indian cuisine are lentils, vegetables, millet (a whole grain), spices and beans, etc. According to the research by the Indian Institute for Technology in Jodhpur, Indian food includes various ingredients that are good for your health and high in nutrition as well. This happens because Ayurveda, the classic medicinal system of India, is rooted in the idea that food has nutritional as well as medicinal value, according to the paper.

Indian cuisine is so much more than rich chutney, samosas and chicken tikka. Let’s discover some of the healthiest ingredients you must be using for ages. 

1. Moong Beans:

These small green beans are highly consumed in Indian cooking however, it is not the same case in western cooking. These small green beans are rich in essential nutrients like minerals, antioxidants and sprouted green lentils are great to have in the morning time because it is one of the best sources of protein and fiber. As per research, green beans can be really beneficial for your health because of the essential minerals and antioxidants you get from them. Also, moong dal is light on the stomach compared to other lentils and therefore it is easier for you to digest it. You can have sprouted moong dal along with your salad along with chopped vegetables or you can prepare a soup to have it with rice. 

2. Cumin:

Cumin also known as jeera in Hindi, is used in some of the most simple vegetables or dishes, especially during the fast. Cumin seeds might look tiny, like basmati rice, but these seeds can add so much flavour to your simple dish. Jeera is also used as a weight-loss aid. As per a study published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice of 88 women with problems like obesity or overweight, were given supplements that have cumin in them for three months. And this study shows that there was a significant reduction in their waist circumference, body fat, body mass index and weight. Jeera is also rich in iron because 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds contains 6 per cent of the needed iron on the daily basis. You can add jeera to your spice blend, which is extremely popular and used as Garam masala in India, and you can also use cumin seeds while preparing any vegetables or gravy or raita. 

3. Turmeric:

This spice is popular not only in Indian cuisine but also in the beauty industry and homemade face packs and pastes. Turmeric is known for its powerful antioxidants and medicinal properties that have been used since ancient times to heal various health problems. This golden yellow spice turmeric has curcumin in it, which is a chemical compound and provides an anti-inflammatory effect. A study that involved 60 people shows significant results that curcumin is safe for people with depressive disorder and it can be helpful to treat the major depressive disorder. You can simply use turmeric to prepare any vegetable or gravy. There are varieties of vegetables and gravy and chutneys that are used in India in different regions and using turmeric can provide various health benefits. 

4. Kidney Beans or say rajma:

Kidney beans are good for your gut health because rajma contains resistant starch in it which means it helps to resist digestion and is good for your gut health as well. Rajma can also be beneficial to improve insulin sensitivity and according to research, these tiny cute kidney shape beans can reduce the risk of chronic health problems like obesity, coronary heart diseases, diabetes and cancer. You can prepare a rajma gravy dish, which is popularly consumed throughout the northern region of India. You can also add cooked kidney beans to your salad, chilli, soup or use in tacos or curries. 

5. Cinnamon:

This spice smells so good that it is also used for its unique smell in various dishes. However, cinnamon is also known as Dalchini, has various health benefits. Dalchini has anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antioxidants properties that can be beneficial for a blood glucose level. Cinnamon can also be beneficial for people with insulin sensitivity and fasting blood sugar problems. Cinnamon is used in savoury dishes and also in sweet dishes, especially in the west side of India dalchini is used as a baking spice. You can add cinnamon sticks while preparing sauces, soups, decoction and you can also add cinnamon to your garam masala mix. 

6. Lentils:

No matter what you eat outside and how many cuisines you try all over the world, dal chawal or dal roti is something that is a staple for so many people in India. However, looking at the diversity and different cultures in India, there are many people who might crave something else instead of dal rice. But the consumption of varieties of lentils is high in India. Lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein and fiber, along with other health benefits. Having lentils not only provide protein and fiber but also provide soluble fiber, which helps to reduce the level of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and might also help to control the glycemic index. You can have lentils with roti, rice, along with other vegetables. You can also prepare other dishes like homemade patties, burgers, and sauces and chutneys with the help of lentils, and enjoy the health benefits. 

7. Chickpeas:

Chickpeas are also known as chana they are filled with an abundance of health benefits like potassium, folate, healthy fats, fibre, dietary fiber and iron, vitamin C, E, A, and magnesium. Having chickpeas on a daily basis can improve the intake of essential nutrients. Also, it is an excellent snack for your evening or in between the meals hunger. Most of the people who end up eating junk and unhealthy foods are the ones who do not consume such healthy alternatives of snacks that are not only tasty but high in nutritional value. Also, chana is extremely filling, so if you are someone who travels a lot should deficiently include chana in your day-to-day diet. You can prepare hummus, sweets, pancakes, dry roasted chickpea flour, dry roasted chana and you can also prepare dumplings. 

8. Ginger:

Adrak is one of the best spices to be used to treat cold, cough and flu, especially during winters. Ginger also has anti-inflammatory properties, along with powerful antioxidants. Adrak is used since ancient times to relieve discomfort related to digestion and also helps to soothe nausea. Ginger is also to get relief from knee pain, menstrual pain and migraine pain as well. The medicinal properties of ginger also help to reduce muscle soreness. You can prepare a decoction by adding ginger to it, which is one of the main ingredients of decoction to get relief from cold, cough and flu.  

9. Fenugreek:

It gets the maximum benefits of meethi seeds it is best to use while cooking vegetables or while preparing curry. It is not good to have meethi on an empty stomach because it has estrogen-like compounds. People with diabetes should include meethi seeds while preparing curry and vegetables because they can be helpful to lower blood sugar levels. Meethi seeds are also used to increase the milk supply in breastfeeding women. You can use both fenugreek seeds and fenugreek leaves while preparing any vegetable or curry. These seeds are popularly used in pumpkin and zucchini and while preparing kadi. 

We hope you add all these amazing ingredients to your diet and if you’re missing any of the above ingredients to get more health benefits and to preserve the amazing ingredients that your grandmother and mother were using for ages. 

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