Spices have played a vital role in Indian cuisine since time immemorial. Their role is to to increase the palatability of food through their flavouring, colouring, and preservation agents. Besides cooking, spices are also a part of the medical, cosmetic, pharmaceutical and perfumery industries. It comes as no surprise then that celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar took to Instagram to reveal the importance of consuming Indian spices. Further, she suggested avoiding unhealthy diet trends.
With the rise in popularity of immunity-boosting foods, the masses have understood that several Indian spices must be used in our daily diet for our overall health and well-being. Spices like turmeric, black pepper, garlic and ginger, are now playing an integral role in various cuisines. And that is what Diwekar has explained in her latest Instagram post.
Here’s what she says, “In 20 years, they have gone from the ‘must avoid’ to ‘must have’ list. There was a time when people would dutifully avoid the spices, “hum bas saadha khana khate hai, no masala for us”, and now starting the day with shots of haldi, jeera, and what not (sic).”
“The peculiar thing about diet trends is that the good of our culture goes from being demonised to glorified, but the bad that the trends bring along, stays. So the giving up on sabzi for a salad, rasam or kadhi for a soup, saag for a smoothie, stays. But with that our wisdom of actually cooking the native species like the worthy delicacy that they are, disappears,” says Diiwekar.
And isn’t that the reality? People easily fall for new-age fads like shots, pills, and powders. That is why the nutrition expert has advised her followers to avoid doing that. Instead, she has suggested to her followers to consume spices in the right quantity, in the right order, and in the right combination.
Check out the post here:
Diwekar highlighted the problem with Indian spices, and how excess quantity can cause health issues and too little can also cause trouble.
Her caption reads, “So what can you do? Think of spices like a person, a real person. A real person comes with the good and the bad. There are environments like families, teams, friends etc., that enable the good. And then if by chance, you meet this person without his wife or outside his work environment, you don’t really like them anymore. The proportion and the setting in which he was good is taken away and now that you have a lot of him, it begins to make you feel restless, uncomfortable, and stressed. Experienced this? Well, spices are exactly like that. Too much of them and say hello to acne, missed periods and bloating. Too little of them and say bye bye to smooth skin, pain free periods and a flat stomach”.
Today, spice use is ubiquitous and they are far more important in some cuisines than others. That’s why Diwekar asks us to value our local cuisine and kitchens. She writes, “There’s deep-rooted common sense and science behind their use in certain proportions, seasons and settings. But mostly our biases fail to recognise science, when it comes from women, oral heritage and local languages. Science is not hidden in text books/ journals, written in English and accessible to few.”
“The whole purpose of science is to be accessible and make our lives more sustainable and liberating. But then like love, we must be able to recognise science when we stumble upon it. And as far as food is concerned, it’s found in our local cuisine and kitchens. Value it,” she concludes.
1. Turmeric: Turmeric is a spice packed with antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-carcinogenic, antimutagenic, and anti-inflammatory properties. As per Ayurveda, turmeric helps to boost immunity and even has immense health benefits.
2. Cinnamon: Cinnamon is especially great for people, who have high blood sugar. It is currently trending because of its ability to reduce tummy bloating.
3. Black pepper: Black pepper, also known as the king of species, promotes weight loss, helps relieve cold and cough, improves digestion, boosts metabolism, and treats many problems.
4. Ajwain: Chew a spoonful of raw ajwain seeds every day in the morning. This will fight bacteria and fungi, improve cholesterol, and may lower blood pressure.
5. Giloy: This Ayurvedic herb is known for purifying the blood and fighting disease-causing bacteria. The antioxidant properties of giloy help improve immunity and aid digestion.
6. Ashwagandha: As per a study by the National College of Natural Medicine in Poland, ashwagandha has immunologic effects on four types of immune cells in the human body. It is also believed that ashwagandha helps the body manage stress efficiently, and reduces levels of cortisol, a hormone that is being produced in response to stress.
7. Garlic: Adding a clove of garlic to your daily diet can help boost your immune system tremendously. The herb is also known to reduce the risk of heart attack and improve mental health. It also has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
So, it’s crystal clear why spices are extremely important for our health. Include these marginal spices to your diet and see the magic.