Top 10 Indian Foods That Are Super Healthy

Top 10 Indian Foods That Are Super Healthy
Written By: Clinical Dietitian
Reviewed By: Counselling Psychologist
MA Psychology Pennsylvania State University, USA
Last Updated: 02-11-2023

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Indian cuisine is one of the most diverse and flavorful in the world, and it also happens to be very healthy. Many traditional Indian dishes are packed with essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, and can help to improve your overall health and well-being.

Here is a list of the top 10 Indian foods that are super healthy:

1. Pulses and legumes: Pulses and legumes, such as lentils, chickpeas, and beans, are a staple of Indian cuisine. They are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. Pulses and legumes can also help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
2. Vegetable curry: Vegetable curries are a delicious and nutritious way to get your daily dose of vegetables. Indian curries are typically made with a variety of fresh vegetables, such as tomatoes, onions, peppers, and potatoes. They are also flavored with a variety of spices, such as turmeric, cumin, and coriander, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
3. Steamed rice: Steamed rice is a low-calorie, complex carbohydrate that is a staple of many Indian meals. It provides energy and helps to keep you feeling full.
4. Dhokla: Dhokla is a steamed cake made from fermented chickpea batter. It is a good source of protein and fiber, and it is also low in fat.
5. Chapati/roti: Chapati and roti are flatbreads made from whole wheat flour. They are a good source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamins.
6. Millet dosa: Millet dosa is a pancake made from fermented millet batter. Millet is a nutritious grain that is high in protein, fiber, and vitamins. Millet dosa is a good alternative to wheat-based dosas for people with gluten intolerance.
7. Poha: Poha is a flattened rice dish that is typically made with onions, potatoes, and spices. It is a quick and easy breakfast dish that is also healthy and nutritious.
8. Dry roasted/tandoori chicken: Tandoori chicken is a popular Indian dish that is made by marinating chicken in yogurt and spices and then cooking it in a tandoor oven. It is a good source of protein and iron.
9. Idli: Idli is a steamed cake made from fermented rice and lentil batter. It is a good source of protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates.
10. Buttermilk: Buttermilk is a fermented milk drink that is a good source of probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that can help to improve gut health. Buttermilk is also a good source of calcium and protein.
In addition to the foods listed above, there are many other healthy Indian foods to choose from. When cooking Indian food, it is important to use fresh, high-quality ingredients and to limit the use of oil and ghee. It is also important to eat a variety of Indian foods to ensure that you are getting all of the nutrients that you need.

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Tips for incorporating Indian foods into your diet:

  • Start your day with a healthy Indian breakfast, such as poha, idli, or dosa.
  • Add vegetable curry to your lunch or dinner.
  • Choose whole-wheat chapatis or rotis over white rice.
  • Use pulses and legumes in your cooking.
  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Limit the use of oil and ghee.

By following these tips, you can enjoy the delicious and healthy flavors of Indian cuisine while also improving your overall health and well-being.
Healthy Indian cuisine, which indeed offers a wide range of delicious and nutritious options. Indian food is known for its rich flavors and diverse ingredients, and it can be a fantastic addition to a balanced diet.

Here are a few additional tips and insights to further enhance experience with healthy Indian foods:

1. Portion Control: Indian dishes can sometimes be calorie-dense due to the use of oils and dairy. Practice portion control to maintain a healthy calorie intake.
2. Spices and Herbs: Indian cuisine is renowned for its use of spices and herbs. Many of these have potential health benefits. For instance, turmeric contains curcumin, a compound with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Cumin, coriander, and fenugreek are also known for their health benefits.
3. Customize Your Spice Level: Indian dishes can be spicy, but you can adjust the level of heat to your preference. Spices like chili, black pepper, and ginger can be beneficial for digestion and metabolism.
4. Hydration: Accompany your meals with water, herbal tea, or buttermilk to stay hydrated.
5. Balanced Meals: When enjoying Indian cuisine, aim for balanced meals. Include a variety of dishes that provide different nutrients, such as proteins, vegetables, and carbohydrates.
6. Homemade vs. Restaurant: Cooking Indian dishes at home gives you more control over the ingredients and cooking methods. This can help reduce the amount of oil and ghee used in your dishes.
7. Fiber-Rich Ingredients: Many Indian foods are high in dietary fiber, which is great for digestion. Lentils, chickpeas, and vegetables contribute to your daily fiber intake.
8. Healthy Cooking Techniques: Consider healthier cooking methods such as steaming, baking, or grilling, rather than deep-frying.
9. Variety is Key: Indian cuisine is incredibly diverse, with regional specialties and variations. Experiment with different dishes to experience a wide range of flavors and health benefits.
10. Consult a Nutritionist: If you have specific dietary needs or health goals, consider consulting a nutritionist who can help you create a customized, balanced diet plan using Indian cuisine as a foundation.
Remember that while Indian cuisine offers many healthy options, it s also versatile, and not all dishes are equally nutritious. The key is to make informed choices, practice moderation, and enjoy the array of flavors and ingredients that Indian food has to offer.

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Conclusion: 

The list of top 10 healthy Indian foods provided is a testament to the rich and diverse culinary heritage of India. Indian cuisine offers a remarkable array of nutritious options that can be beneficial for one s health and well-being. These foods are not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. From protein-rich pulses and legumes to fiber-filled vegetables and whole grains, Indian dishes encompass a wide spectrum of flavors and health benefits.

The use of spices like turmeric, cumin, and coriander adds not only flavor but also anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to many Indian dishes. The fermentation process used in some foods like dhokla, idli, and buttermilk enhances their nutritional value by increasing their probiotic content, which supports gut health.
Incorporating these healthy Indian foods into your diet is not only a delightful gastronomic experience but also a wise choice for promoting your overall health. Starting your day with nutritious Indian breakfast options like poha, idli, or dosa sets a healthy tone for your day. Adding vegetable curries to your meals ensures a generous intake of vitamins and minerals. Choosing whole-wheat chapatis or rotis over white rice provides complex carbohydrates and fiber, contributing to a balanced diet. Utilizing pulses and legumes in your cooking not only enriches the taste but also boosts your protein intake. The emphasis on a variety of fruits and vegetables further enhances the nutritional value of your meals.

It is essential to note the advice to limit the use of oil and ghee, as excessive consumption of fats can counteract the health benefits of these nutritious dishes. By adopting these dietary habits and embracing the diverse and flavorful world of Indian cuisine, you can enhance your well-being and savor the unique and wholesome offerings of this culinary tradition.
 

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