Every time we hear of the term super-food, we have a mental image of some exclusive international food. Little did we know that our kitchen racks are loaded with ingredients that are a powerhouse of nutrients and at par with exotic ingredients we often consider superfoods.
Let’s take a look at some of the common, easily available, local superfoods that we can include in our daily diet
Many a times confused as a millet, amaranth (aka rajgira) is a sidelined pseudo cereal which is available at any grocery store near you. It has a high macro and micronutrient density such as iron, zinc magnesium and also serves ~4.5g of protein per serving. It can be used to make pancakes, rotis or in energy bars.
Sabza / Basil seeds
Small yet mighty is the best way to describe these power packed seeds. These wonder seeds are high in fibre, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and various other micronutrients. These can be simply added to your infused water or soaked overnight with milk/nut milk and eaten as a pudding with a fruit.
This vibrant yellow and flavor-filled spice is magical when it comes to its medicinal and nutritional benefits. Most of the advantages of turmeric come from its active component – Curcumin. Curcumin gives turmeric its yellow color and is rich in antioxidants resulting in anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent chronic diseases and improve immunity. Fresh turmeric can be added to your meals in curries or as fresh pickles.
The South of India is known for the cultivation of Moringa or drumstick. It is often referred to as a miracle tree because of its wide range of medicinal and nutritional properties. Drumsticks are not only super rich in calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A and fibre but they are also a good source of phytosterols and also stimulate oestrogen production. Moringa powder can be added to our diet as an infused tea or added in powdered form to vegetable juices. Drumsticks can be added to soup or in curries.
In the last few years, foxnuts or commonly known as ‘makhana’ have picked become popular as a healthy snack in a variety of delectable flavours. They have a good nutrition profile as they are low on calories and high on micronutrients like calcium and magnesium which enhance bone health. You can add this to you diet in the roasted form, as bhel or also make a sabzi out of it.
Sattu is known as ‘poor man’s protein’ because of its high nutrient profile and affordable price. Sattu is nothing but roasted chickpea flour and/or with other cereals and pulses. It can be added to your diet as buttermilk, energy balls, cutlets, or in the form of a paratha. Since it is high in protein and fibre along with having a low glycaemic index, it is suitable for individuals with diabetes, poor lipid profile or those wanting to lose fat without losing muscle.
Including these foods in your plan will not only promote local ingredients but also improve the nutrient profile of your meals and encourage clean eating.