Eating Well, Living Well: Embrace These 10 Nutritious Foods for a Vibrant Life
Get ready to revitalise your meals and nourish your body from within!
Sometimes, with all the complicated (and at times contradictory) advice you find online when it comes to diet, it can be overwhelming to keep track of whether you have covered all your bases. The good news is that a traditional Indian diet, if taken in the right manner, is full of all the nutrients your body needs. But just in case you need a reminder, here are 10 fantastic food items that are not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients. Just ensure you have one serving of each of these items at least once a day and you are all set!
- Leafy Greens: Let's kick things off with the superheroes of nutrition: leafy greens. Spinach (palak), fenugreek leaves(methi), mustard greens (sarson), moringa and colocasia greens (arbi) are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Whether you go the traditional route and make curries or go Western and blend them into smoothies, leafy greens are a must-have in your daily diet.
- Lean Protein: Protein is the building block of a healthy diet, and incorporating lean sources is essential. Choose skinless chicken breast, or fish like salmon or tuna. Vegetarians can opt for tofu, or legumes like lentils and chickpeas. These protein powerhouses will keep you satisfied and support muscle growth and repair.
- Whole Grains: Swap refined grains with their wholesome counterparts like whole wheat, oats, millets, and brown, red and black rice. Some of these grains may sound fancy but they were a part of our traditional Indian diet before it became more homogenised. These grains that are still a part of most rural Indian diets are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, providing sustained energy and promoting healthy digestion. Opt for a low GI version of the rice to ensure that you stay vigilant and avoid the post-rice doze-offs.
- Colourful Veggies: Add a splash of colour to your plate with a variety of vegetables. Every colour of the rainbow caters to a specific need of the body providing essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Curry them, roast them, stir-fry them, or enjoy them raw in salads - the options are endless!
- Healthy Fats: Healthy fats are crucial for overall health and well-being. Include sources like nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews), seeds (chia, flax, pumpkin), and ghee in your daily diet. These fats support brain function, heart health, and provide a feeling of satiety.
- Curd: A staple in Indian cuisine, curd offers probiotics for a healthy gut. Enjoy it as a side dish, blend it into buttermilk, or use it to make raita.
- Fresh Herbs: Herbs like coriander, mint, and curry leaves not only add a burst of freshness to your Indian dishes but also offer health benefits. These herbs are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, making them an essential part of your Indian culinary repertoire.
- Seasonal Fruits: India boasts a bountiful array of seasonal fruits that are not only delicious but also packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Whether you indulge in juicy mangoes, tangy oranges, or crisp apples, incorporating a variety of fresh fruits into your diet is a surefire way to boost your nutritional intake.
- Berries: Now this is a department lacking attention when it comes to the Indian diet. While Westerners might be enticed by Indian mangoes, it requires a true Indian to appreciate the amla, ber, jamun, mulberries, all available seasonally, that are bursting with vitamin C and antioxidants that help fight inflammation and boost your immune system. Enjoy them as a dessert with meals, blend them into a refreshing smoothie, or simply savour them as a guilt-free snack.
- Spices: Yes, the humble Indian spice rack is an entire medicine cabinet of its own. Household spices such as black pepper, cumin, coriander, fennel, fenugreek, and more offer a range of health benefits when consumed in moderation. Incorporating these spices into your everyday meals, tea, or detox water can contribute to overall well-being and add a boost of health to your routine.