Rich in taste, texture and flavor – Indian food is considered as the healthiest cuisine in the world. Indian food is famous for its variety and the number of spices used in combination to make the unique recipes. Apart from its taste, it also includes food from all food groups. The traditional Indian diet is lacto-vegetarian and based on grains such as rice, wheat and barley along with dried legumes such as lentils and fresh vegetables and fruits, diary and a variety of spices and herbs which give Indian food its signature flavor.
Popular Indian Foods and Their Health Benefits
Roti or Chapatti is the most common bread used in Indian meals. Made from whole grain wheat flour, the roti is rich in carbohydrate; it is easy to digest and helps in blood circulation.
Curd is used in Indian meals as raitas or salads. The curd is good for the digestive system as the bacteria present in curd improves digestion. It is also a rich source of calcium, which is good for bones and teeth.
Lentils or Legumes provide you with protein .It also contain dietary fiber, vitamin B1 and minerals such as iron. Thus lentils help in many major functions of the body including regulating blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Red Chilies have amazing health benefits for the human body. They contain the chemical compound capsaicin which has anti-bacterial and analgesic properties.
Paneer or cottage cheese is a milk product. Paneer is rich in proteins and calcium. This helps in building strong teeth and bones. Paneer helps prevent osteoporosis and promote weight loss.
Rice has the ability to provide fast and instant energy, regulate and improve bowel movements, stabilize blood sugar levels and slow down aging process. Brown rice is considered as the world’s healthiest foods.
Meat in Indian cooking is prepared with spices and herbs to make it flavorful. It is either cooked in a wok or tandoori oven which reduces the fat content. The meat is served with vegetables and rice making it a well-balanced mixture of carbohydrates and proteins.
Benefits of Indian Spices
Spicy foods thrill the taste buds and also make food more palatable. Spices add aroma, flavor and bite to the Indian cuisine. In addition to this spices have numerous health benefits.
Chilies have capsaicin as a compound that gives a thermogenic effect and thus aids the body to burn calories after your meal and in turn results in weight loss. Chilies are also known to reduce cardio vascular risk. They reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) and thereby reduce heart attack and strokes. Spicy foods are said to boost the production of serotine (feel-good-hormone) and thus reduce depression.
Garlic when eaten daily can help lower heart disease risk by 76 percent. Garlic’s Sulphur compounds also appear to ward off cancer especially stomach and colorectal cancer.
Ginger has played a major role in Indian medicine as a digestive aid. Several studies found that eating ginger reduces pain and swelling in people with arthritis. It is proven that ginger is quite effective against nausea.
Turmeric gives the curry its yellow hue. The chemical responsible for turmeric’s golden color called curcumin is considered a top anti-cancer agent. It also boosts memory and gives protection against Alzheimer’s disease.
Spices used in Indian cooking have been used for thousands of years for its medicinal value. New studies on Indian food have proven that they benefit the heart, reduce the effects of diabetes and lower the incidence of cancer and support weight loss. In the modern times, the key to wellness is Indian food.