Who doesn’t love a delicious, rich Indian meal? It’s filling, enjoys a worldwide appeal, and best of all – it is good for you! Indian food is internationally recognized as one of the most healthy food types available. Here are six ingredients and meals that you can enjoy guiltlessly.
Cumin is a popular spice that is found in several Indian dishes, such as aloo gobi, aloo baingan, and jeera. It is also a main ingredient in curry powder. This special herb is full of antioxidants, which help the immune system to function at its best. Those suffering from digestive issues will also benefit from regular doses of cumin. Richness in iron is another benefit of cumin, which makes a great supplement for those with anemia or lack sufficient iron in general.
Turmeric is another powerful all-around healer used in the prevention and treatment of several maladies. For instance, turmeric is known as a mild pain killer as well as anti-inflammatory. Turmeric is also good for the liver, acting as both a detoxifier as well as a protector. Arthritis and joint disease sufferers will do well to eat dishes with turmeric in order to relieve their symptoms. Turmeric is found in vindaloo, chicken masala, and aloo phujia. Like cumin, turmeric is also an ingredient in curry powder.
Though the ingredients and spices vary greatly with this universal dish, they all have one thing in common – vegetables! A vegetable curry is an excellent way to get your daily dose of veggies all in one meal. Popular vegetables include cauliflower, onions, potatoes, carrots, squash, eggplant, peas, and tomatoes.
Chana masala is a delicious meal that is easy to make and found on menus worldwide. If you’re not familiar with this dish, its main base is chickpeas, or garbanzo beans. Chickpeas are rich in protein, fiber, folate, thiamin, iron, magnesium, and potassium. The other ingredients in chana masala include an herb-heavy seasoning comprised of a combination of the following: turmeric, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, coriander, and ginger.
Newly pregnant mothers can take advantage of Indian dishes seasoned with ginger, as it is a known treatment for morning sickness. Ginger tablets are also available in airports and ship ports to reduce the effect of motion sickness and nausea. Ginger soothes the gastrointestinal passageway, making it a natural remedy for heartburn. Some studies have even shown that ginger may be helpful in the prevention of certain types of cancers. Vegetable bhaji, tomato masala, and masoor dal are all dishes that utilize ginger.
Fenugreek is another miracle spice. The fenugreek seed is a good source of fiber and iron. Acting as nature’s Viagra, it has been used to increase libido in both men and women. Menopausal women will find relief in fenugreek, which has similar properties as estrogen. During flu season, fenugreek can be used to ease sore throats, fever, and coughing. This herb adds flavor to dishes such as methi dum aloo, sambar, and sai bhaji.
Jasmine Stephenson is an international traveler, freelance writer, and Indian food lover. She is also a guest blogger for An Apple a Day and a writer on earning your nursing degree for the Guide to Health Education.
The Nutritional Benefits of Indian Cuisine