The Indian pantry is abundant with highly nutritious fruit, herbs and dairy products. We tell you about 6 of our favourite desi superfoods.
The word superfood brings to mind quinoa, berries and kale, hailed by the Western world. Indeed, these pack a punch of nutrition, due to their concentrated amounts of phyto- and micro nutrients.
But how can we Indians really benefit from these wonder foods, considering many are out of reach? The answer is simple. We have our own locally sourced superfoods, familiar and easy to access. Here are 6 of our picks:
#1 Triphala: This is a mixture of three Indian dried fruits- amla, bibhitaki and haritika. A popular tonic, triphala helps the digestion, reduces fatigue and promotes weight loss. Some even use it to treat common eye problems. Read more about triphala here.
#2 Amla : An age-old anti-ageing remedy, this tart green fruit is the Indian substitute for blueberries. Amla is present many Ayurvedic medicinal concoctions, since it is packed with 20 times more vitamin C than oranges. In addition, Amla boosts immunity and metabolism, fight hairfall and strengthen bones.
#3 Guava: This is considered a poor man’s fruit in India. But there’s no denying it’s powers. This magical superfruit has the highest concentration of anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants fight cellular damage, and inflammation, ultimately preventing cell damage. Other benefits of guavas are the high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, and lycopene.
#4 Ghee:Also known as clarified butter, ghee is an important and healthy ingredient in Indian cooking. Ghee is a powerhouse of nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. Since clarified butter is a rich source of conjugated linoleic acid and butyric acid, a moderate amount is considered as healthy as olive oil. Learn more about ghee here.
#5 Tamarind:This is an important ingredient in the Indian kitchen. Also known as Imli, tamarind is rich in B-vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and iron. This ultra tangy ingredient is freely used in South Indian cuisine, and also sought for its therapeutic properties.
#6 Sugarcane:This is one of the most versatile superfoods known to man. Sugarcane is rich in antioxidants, iron, magnesium, calcium, and other electrolytes. Besides being a good diuretic, sugarcane also boosts immunity. Ultimately, though, sugar cane is most sought for its energy boosting powers!