India is a place full of diversity, which is why even Indian cuisine is as diverse as the nation. Traditional Indian foods have passed through centuries from our ancestors. In ancient times, Indians were the people who used antibiotics like turmeric and other beneficial species, which cured many diseases. Ayurveda influences a big part of Indian cuisine. It was believed by elders when you consume healthy food; it will not only nourish you physically but also flourishes you mentally and spiritually. Thus, Indian food culture involves many beneficial spices, some of which were even influenced by Portuguese, Chinese, and Britishers.
Authentic Indian food is rich with flavors because of the variations of spices used in its preparation. And that is why India is also known as the Land of spices. Indian food supports many health concerns like immunity, brain function and cures inflammation. Its long history and unique geography have shaped food and food traditions. And it is greatly influenced by the different rulers, visitors and neighbors.
Food is not limited to just eating, but rather it is a way of socializing and celebrating with family, relatives and friends. In India, food varies from region to region, which can be subdivided into four different categories as per four different areas of the subcontinent; East, West, North, and South. Ayurveda has laid the foundation for the basic Indian cooking style ever since Indus Valley Civilization.
So here’s the list of few such ingredients of Indian food that are beneficial for overall health, and you should incorporate the same in your diet.
Indian diet is affluent in grains. Pulses are an integral part of the Indian staple. There are many types of pulses grown in India, which gives you room for varieties in your diet. They are the primary source of protein in a vegetarian diet and also contain minerals like calcium, iron, potassium and zinc.
Benefits of Pulses:
- Pulses may lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Pulses also make a healthy and affordable source of protein.
Rice is one of the most consumed grains in India. The grain makes for many different varieties of dishes, for example, lintel and rice; the combination has been famous for ages in India. This combination is a perfect protein meal with all the essential amino acids. Insoluble fibre helps our bodies get rid of the waste, so consuming can help rice for people suffering from constipation problems, rice provides plenty of fibre. It helps the waste material move through the intestines. It also contains a high level of B vitamins.
Indian cuisine is known for its richness in spices. Apart from adding flavour to the dishes, they are also known for their health benefits. Most herbs and spices contain more disease-fighting antioxidants than vegetables and fruits.
- Turmeric contains healing properties, reduces cholesterol and prevents blood clots that can lead to heart attacks.
- Cardamom helps boost metabolism.
- The components of Garam Masala contain moderate degrees of minerals and also promotes digestion.
- Cinnamon helps lower blood sugar levels and high antibiotic effects.
- Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and can treat nausea.
Many popular north Indian dishes consist of paneer or cottage cheese; it is that versatile. Homemade paneer made from skimmed milk contains less fat and cholesterol, which is much healthier than the one made from whole milk. It contains high quantities of calcium and protein. Paneer is an excellent source of protein, especially for vegetarians, since they do not get their intake from meat products. The benefits provided by paneer include the following:
- Paneer releases energy slowly in the body, which neither causes a spike in blood sugar levels nor does it give an instant boost, which drops soon.
- Paneer is an excellent source of conjugated linoleic acid, which is a fatty acid that helps lose weight by increasing the fat burning process in the body.
Garlic is a primary source of natural antibacterial agents. It is renowned for its many healing properties and additionally is rich in flavour. Allicin compound present in garlic has potent medicinal properties. Consuming it on a daily basis helps in lowering cholesterol levels because of allicin’s antioxidant properties. It also helps to protect skin and slows down the ageing skin.
Fresh chillies are known to boost metabolism, and fresh chillies are an excellent source of vitamin C. Chillies were introduced to India by Portuguese. Those who are averse to hot spicy food can turn to less hot chillies, which can provide the same benefits without the burning sensation. Chilly may also play a role in treating prostate and lung cancer and leukemia disease. It has also been used to reduce food micro-contamination.
Chilly has a range of health benefits which include:
- Fighting sinus congestion
- Aiding digestion
- Relieve migraines and muscle, joint and nerve pains
Beans and other such legumes are high sources of iron, calcium, protein and folic acid. Beans are versatile, so they can be cooked in different variations. They also go with other cultural cuisines from Asian to European. Beans also contain soluble fibre, which makes it heart-healthy. So eating beans regularly may lower the risk of coronary heart disease.
This ultimately proves that Indian cuisine ingredients are full of nutrients. So next time, when you want to indulge in authentic Indian food do not back out, you can rest assured that Indian food is packed with nutrients and has many health benefits.