Love your desi food? Can’t trade up ghee for olive oil? Well, here’s good news - you don’t need to! Indian food can be tasty and healthy at the same time. Make sure you include these ingredients in your daily diet and you’ll find yourself on the path to good health in no time at all.
Cardamom: Cardamom aids the digestive process, helping the body break down and assimilate nutrients. It is also known to boost metabolism and burn body fat, aiding with weight-loss. Toss in a few cloves of cardamom into your evening chai for a steamy cup of good health.
Garlic: Garlic has long been used in cooking, for both its full-bodied flavor and its healthy properties. Garlic has strong anti-bacterial effects, helps reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) and unhealthy fat levels in the body. Now there’s a good reason why the ubiquitous ginger-garlic paste is found in dishes across every region in India.
Buttermilk: Buttermilk is a drink full of good health, and easy to make at home. It provides the body with essential nutrients and is very low on fat and calorie content. Chop up from fresh coriander and green chillies to it, add a little salt and pepper, and you have a refreshing, healthy homemade drink.
Cabbage: Cabbage is a great antioxidant, and makes a great accompaniment to heavy meat dishes. It also slows down the conversion of carbs and sugar into fat, so makes for a great aid to your weight loss plan. Eat it raw or cooked, but make sure it’s a part of your meal.
Chillies: Chillies are another great ingredient to ramp up your metabolic rate and burn that excess fat. The component capsaicin generates heat and boosts metabolism, helping burn calories for upto 20 minutes after your meal. So slice ‘em up and toss ‘em in!
Cinnamon and cloves: Both these spices aid the production of insulin and help control blood sugar levels in the body. Highly beneficial to people with type 2 diabtetes, it is recommended to sprinkle cinnamon powder into your cup of tea of coffee, and include cloves when you make rice or dal.
Curry leaves: Curry leaves help reduce LDL levels in the body and are a great way to detox. They also help reduce fat deposits in the body, a great aid to any weight-loss program. So add a few curry leaves into your curry or dal for a dose of great flavor and good health.
Honey: A spoonful of honey with warm water is a great way to start your mornings. Honey helps burn fat and is a widely used home-remedy for obesity.
Millets: Coarser grains like millets, jowar, ragi and bajra are high on fibre-content and great for controlling cholesterol and melting fat.
Moong dal: Moong dal brings you your required dose of vitamins and minerals. Rich in Vitamin A, B, C, and E, as well as calcium, iron and potassium, it is a great source of protein and fibre, with very low fat content. Moong dal helps lower cholesterol, and control blood sugar levels in the body. A cup of dal to accompany your rotis is a great way to plan dinner.
Mustard oil: Mustard oil is one of the healthiest oils to cook in, as it contains lower levels of saturated fat. It also provides antioxidants and essential vitamins to the body, lowering cholesterol levels and improving heart health. Switch to mustard oil today!
Turmeric: Turmeric contains curcumin, a constituent that protects the heart. It helps reduce the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), bring down high blood pressure, prevent clotting and reduce the risk of heart attacks. Include a sprinkle of turmeric in your meats and masalas; it will bring you a host of good health.