When it comes to superfoods, the market and trends keep changing every year. However, there are some Indian staple foods that have been ruling the roost for decades, and rightly so. Known for their nutritive and anti-inflammatory properties, here’s a look at the 5 Indian superfoods that you need to add to your diet in 2019:
Drumsticks are a popular addition in South Indian dishes such as Sambhar and Avial. But did you know that this fibrous vegetable comes from the ‘Tree of Life’, or more aptly known as Moringa Oleifera? Yes, the leaves and fruit of this tree are used for several medicinal purposes and both are power-packed with nutrients. Drumsticks themselves are a rich source of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, vitamin A, C, D, essential Amino acids, fibre, and antioxidants such as beta-carotene and flavonoids. Not just that, Moringa leaves are also fibre-rich and play an important role in reducing blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Makhana or popped lotus flower seeds are a great alternative to popular snacks like popcorn. Not only is makhana healthy, but it is also a good source of protein, carbohydrates, fibre, magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc. The magnesium content in them makes them very useful for people suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. Makhana also contains a natural flavonoid called kaempferol that acts as an anti-ageing agent and helps prevent inflammation in the body.
Jackfruit is a tropical Indian fruit that is slowly climbing the superfood ladder. Rich in protein, carbohydrates, calcium, vitamin A, B, C, copper, and potassium, the jackfruit can be consumed even in its raw form. The high fibre content in jackfruit aids in easy digestion and improves bowel movements. Besides this, the mucilaginous pulp of the fruit is also known to boost your immune system, improve thyroid, skin, and vision function.
Ghee has been used in India for centuries. Of late, however, the rest of the world is following suit and applauding desi ghee for its magnificent properties. Ghee may be high in fat but recent lab studies have shown that daily consumption of ghee (in adequate quantities) can help reduce blood cholesterol. It is also rich in antioxidants and acts as an aid for the absorption of vitamins and minerals from other foods, thereby boosting digestive health. As a rich source of butyric acid, ghee also helps in lowering inflammation and boosts immunity.
Turmeric is used in Indian cuisine to spice up dals and curries. But did you know that besides being a key ingredient in cooking, turmeric has also a special place in Indian medicine? Curcumin, the active component in turmeric, is credited for its numerous health benefits. It is known to help with inflammatory disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis as well as for eye and skin conditions and neurological disorders. Turmeric is a natural antiseptic and anti-bacterial agent that can be used to fight infections. In fact, a very effective remedy for the common cold is to mix a pinch of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk and have it before going to bed.