What are superfoods? Are these foods that can fulfill all our dietary requirements? Certainly not! Few years back we had not even heard of superfoods. But these have been around since ages. So where are these superfoods found? Take a trip around your kitchen or your kitchen garden and find these superfoods hidden right there.
You certainly need out go to the fanciest of the supermarket to fetch the most exotic fruit or vegetable or frozen one to get the superfood in your diet. We have been consuming these nutrient dense foods since ancient times. But superfoods are not the only foods we require. If taken in moderate quantities alongwith a balanced diet, these superfoods can really work wonders.
We are specifically talking here about Indian superfoods. What we have been consuming since ages but somehow which earned a little bad tag too as cholesterol enhancers or adding to body fat. A myth needs to be busted here that these nutrient dense superfoods are very much required by the body and need to be consumed in moderation.
Any food when consumed in excess can lead to malfunctioning in our physiological balance. The list of Indian superfoods is long. However these 5 are my pick of Indian superfoods. Let’s look at them closely..
Clarified butter or desi ghee is something which we have been consuming since ages. And it is one of the most pure ingredient of Indian kitchen. Also it has been traditionally a part of every ‘Puja’ organized according to Hindu ritual. Desi ghee is rich in proteins, vitamins and fats essential for immunity and bone growth and joints lubrication. It is now proven that Ghee has detoxifying properties. Also it is great for skin and even for nose allergies. What then earned Desi ghee a bad name? Well it is the sedentary lifestyle responsible for rising heart diseases which was wrongly attributed to Desi ghee. In moderation Desi ghee everyday can be the much needed and vital superfood.
Known as the ‘poor man’s protein’, sattu is up for some major transformation. Having been consumed in Bihar, Jharkhand and eastern Uttar Pradesh since ages, Sattu has now made inroads even in west as a superfood. In fact, sattu powder in water along with sugar, black salt and cumin power can be a great post workout drink. So what is sattu powder? Sattu is basically roasted gram or chana powder. It can be consumed in a variety of ways and is a great source of not only protein but rich in iron, manganese and magnesium. The world has now woken up to this very desi Indian superfood with immense benefits.
The tastiest, sweetest fruit is rightly known as the king of fruits. With hundreds of varieties, each having different flavour, colours and aromas, mangoes are loved by all. But are Mangoes superfoods? Yes they are an excellent source of Vitamin A and C. Mangoes are rich source of fiber too. This dynamic and nutrient dense superfood is great for skin, our vascular system and eyes too. But aren’t mangoes fattening? Mangoes are rich in calories but then again the rule of moderation applies here. Also since it’s a seasonal fruit, one should try to make the most of it rather than having it off-season. There are innumerable recipes and ways in which mangoes can be consumed. Next time you dig into the juicy yellow pulp of a mango remember it’s a superfood not to be missed!
This came as a surprise for me too. Although cashews are a favorite nut.
And any nut is great for our system. But how cashews make up for a superfood? Again just look back to find that cashews are always the most prized nuts and yes these qualify as superfoods due to their ability to improve overall health. They have been linked to improve blood sugar and a healthier heart. They are antioxidants, a good source of fiber and excellent source of protein too providing same amount of protein as an equivalent meat source. Cashews grown abundantly in Kerala and Goa can be great superfood to snack on.
Last but certainly not the least, Amla is a powerhouse of nutrients being rich in Vitamin C, Iron and calcium. The Indian gooseberry is specially found to be beneficial for enhancing immunity during monsoons. Luscious green and with the most tangy taste, Amla is consumed in many forms, as raw with salt, in chutneys, very popular as murabbas and now readily available as candies. I am trying to incorporate Amla too in daily diet and definitely don’t mind an Amla candy post a meal. But on the lookout for recipes having fresh Amla!