Indian food is most popular for its diversity. The variety of foods, spices and dishes that are native to India makes Indian food one of the most wholesome foods in the world. Indian food supports immunity, inflammation, brain function and several other functions in the human body.Indian cuisine is a gold mine of fibre-rich foods, which have a myriad of health benefits that include promoting weight loss, reducing unwanted cravings, lowering blood sugar levels, fighting constipation, and reducing the risk of stroke and constipation .
There is so much similarity in Ayurvedic dietetics and traditional foods that many of the traditional health foods in India can be called ayurvedic foods.
In the era of globalization of the population and international food trading, health conscious citizens around the globe will benefit from the wealth of knowledge on traditional Indian and ayurvedic health foods of Indian origin.
The common misconception is that Indian food is too spicy and oily. However, the vibrant spices, fresh herbs and the never-ending combination of flavours are a gateway to healthy living – when used in the right way.
Indian view about healthy foods
Traditional Indian foods have been prepared for many years and preparation varies across the country. Traditional wisdom about processing of food, its preservation techniques, and their therapeutic effects have been established for many generations in India.
Indian traditional foods are also recognized as functional foods because of the presence of functional components such as body-healing chemicals, antioxidants, dietary fibers, and probiotics. These functional molecules help in weight management, and blood sugar level balance and support immunity of the body. The functional properties of foods are further enhanced by processing techniques such as sprouting, malting, and fermentation.
Traditionally,Indian foods are classified into three main categories.
1: Satvika Foods
2: Tamasika Foods
3: Rajsika Foods
Satvika Food is Cooked vegetables, milk, fresh fruits, and honey.
Tamasika food is meat, liquor,onion , Garlic, spicy and sour foods.
Rajsika Food is Foods that give enough energy to carry out daily.
According to Ayurvedic concepts, food is responsible for different aspects of an individual including physical, temperamental, and mental states. To stay healthy, maintaining a stable healthy diet routinely is essential. The body absorbs the nutrients as the result of digestion.
Indian food has a lot of grains :
- Grains are the primary staple food of India. Grains are a nutritionally rich product and deliver recommended nutrients to the body. Consumption of grains in different civilizations of India can be observed from the literature. In Indian history we can discover distinctive grains used by our ancestors.
Bajra, nachni, jowar along with different rice grains are grown in abundance in India. It is disappointing that in the age of low-carb diets, consumption of rice is denied for weight loss. Luke highlights the fact that even diabetics can eat hand-pounded rice. There are also a variety of pulses in Indian food. Combinations like dal rice and rajma rice have been popular in Indian since ages. These combinations are perfect protein meals with all the essential amino acids.
Indian oils & Varities of Salts :
A variety of cooking oils and salts are available in India. From mustard oil and peanut oil to coconut oil and groundnut oil, many healthy varieties of cooking oil are present in India. But the way they were processed in earlier times was much healthier than they are processed today.
Black salt, pink salt and rock salt were native to India. But we slowly moved to the more refined version of salt, which is probably the reason why Indian food became unhealthier too. So, it is probably the ingredients which changed Indian food.
Indian thalis :
In the traditional Indian thali, each bowl in the thali has a small size. It includes 2-3 varities of dal, sabzi, some rice or roti or both. The thali also includes a small amount of sweet dish. This thali makes for a complete meal, including all essential nutrients in the right proportion. But thalis served in restaurants today have much larger portion size. It is probably because of the western culture of supersizing that the portion size in traditional Indian thalis has increased here.
Also read: Rujuta Diwekar Clarifies All Doubts About Eating Rice.
An Indian diet is more of unrefined and fibre-rich carbohydrates. Moreover, our body’s constitution and tropical weather conditions call for a more energy-rich diet. Studies link the Indian diet to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, which is assumed due to the low consumption of meat and emphasis on vegetables