Contributed by: Nancy Dixit
Healthy food doesn’t have to be dull and neither does it have to be complex.
The ingredients and styles of cooking in Indian cuisine vary based on region, season, religion, and family traditions.
You can find everything from meat-based curries to vegetarian and vegan dishes, as well as an assortment of spices and ingredients that give each dish its distinct flavour profile.
However, the cuisine isn’t just about taste — dishes across the Indian subcontinent are packed with nutrients, meaning they’re also very healthy options.
A substantial part of any Indian food is its spices, herbs, ghee, fruits and vegetables.
It is estimated that India has almost more than 2000 dishes and 31 types of cuisines.
As per registered dieticians, healthy dishes include wholesome, minimally processed ingredients and plant-based food.
Tip: Develop a sense of your own capacity to control and turn your back on all the junk-food cravings
According to nutritionists, here are some easy ways to improve your nutrition by incorporating a variety of foods and essential nutrients into your diet.
You can have a bowl full of whole grains like quinoa with at least a cup of dark veggies like spinach, broccoli ( roasted, grilled or raw), and proteins like tofu, beans or fish (as per your choice).
You can top it with your favourite toppings like sauces, dried fruits or nuts etc.
It is one of the best and simple recipes, anyone can have for breakfast.
Chillas are usually made up of chickpea flour (besan). However, sprouted moong beans can also be used to make chilla.
You can also add some herbs, spices, and chopped veggies (like tomato, cucumber, carrots etc.) to make it more tempting and delicious and serve it with sauce, pickle or curd etc.
Grilled cheese and tomato soup
This is the oldest classic combo of whole grain bread and real cheddar cheese that can be paired with low sodium (or less salt) tomato soup.
Tip: Use cheddar cheese instead of processed cheese.
Poha is one of the famous Indian breakfast recipes. It is basically made of flattened rice that is soaked in water for a few minutes before cooking.
You can add onions, tomato or some spice to enhance its taste. Some people also prefer to top it with peanuts, peas, bhujia or lemon etc.
It adds nutritional value to the food including calcium and iron etc. It also helps you feel full for a longer time.
A bowl of healthy jowar medley is not only healthy but also a tasty option to include in your diet.
Since it is rich in protein, calcium and fibre, it adds nutritional value to your food. It can be served with baby corn or lettuce leaves to make it more scrumptious.
Air fried chicken drumsticks
For non-vegetarians, it can be the best, simple and easy-to-cook healthy recipe.
The recipe is as follows: Chicken drumsticks are marinated with some herbs and spices, crushed walnuts, a little bit of lemon juice, breadcrumbs and seasonings (as per your choice).
Air fry it until completely cooked and can be served with cooked vegetables or air-fried fries.
This dish is rich in high-quality protein and does not contain much fat.
Did you know that beyond its rich protein content, chicken also contains a good amount of iron, zinc and vitamin B12?
For calorie-conscious fellows, oats idli can be the ideal food. It is usually made up of batter containing roasted oats, grated carrots, coriander or any other veggies of your choice.
Steam the batter to get feather-light fluffy scrumptious idlis.
Since oats are rich in minerals, vitamins and proteins, they add a good nutrition value without compromising on the delicious taste.
For vegetarians, daal often forms the basis of a high-protein meal. Panchratna daal is a medley of 5 types of daal, namely, moong, channa, masoor, urad and arhar.
This protein-packed recipe with the goodness of all these lentils cooked in delicious spices makes it a great addition to your daily diet.
Top it off with fresh coriander and enjoy it with some steamy rice or roti.
Lentils have a high content of insoluble fibre as well as prebiotic carbohydrates. prebiotic carbs support the growth of gut-friendly probiotics, which may be beneficial for gut and mental health as well.
Melon and Kiwi fruit smoothie
This power drink provides a burst of immune-boosting nutrients in every sip and shoots ups your energy level instantly.
Kiwi is a tangy and sweet fruit that is rich in vitamin C, which stimulates the body’s immune response.
When kiwi is combined with fruits like papaya, melon and grapes, it enhances the nutritional value of the smoothie.
Did you know- kiwifruit contains roughly 230% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C?
Peanut butter is rich in antioxidants and vitamin B3 (niacin), which is needed for skin and nerve health. Some studies have shown that it may also help in Alzheimer’s disease.
This delicious spread also contains an excellent source of vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant and can protect against coronary heart disease.
Tip: Try to use natural peanut butter, without added sugar and other additives.
Eggs are one of the few foods that should be classified as “superfoods.”
Egg yolks and whole eggs contain significant amounts of protein and choline and are widely used in cookery.
Eggs can be consumed in various ways such as scrambled, poached, omelette or boiled eggs etc.
Eggs are the best source of choline and quality protein that promotes hair health supports eye health, may reduce the risk of heart disease etc.
Did you know that eggs are high in cholesterol, but eating eggs does not adversely affect cholesterol in the blood for the majority of people?
Nutrition and health go hand in hand. After all, it’s food that fuels every cell in the body and helps build stamina and muscle strength.
You may get bored and lose motivation if you don’t try different ingredients and recipes.
Here we have mentioned a few best, easy and most popular Indian recipes you can try.
However, there might be chances that you are allergic to any of the ingredients or might have an undiagnosed medical condition that can be aggravated by any of the ingredients.
‘In such a situation, you can also opt for genetic testing, which is a cutting-edge predictive health tool to ascertain your predisposition towards certain foods; that can have a positive or negative impact, depending from person to person.
Furthermore, you should also undergo preventive health checkups. These health checks give a complete report about your health, allowing you to take necessary precautionary measures to improve your well-being and keep a host of ailments at bay.