6 desi superfoods that you were probably ignoring all this while but shouldn’t

Your kitchen pantry is a treasure trove of desi superfoods that you haven't paid attention to in all these years. It's time to include them in your diet ASAP.
kokum drink
Kokum sherbet will cool you down like no other! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Deeksha Sarin Updated: 12 Feb 2020, 16:37 pm IST
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Now that February 2020 is in full swing, for all those health fanatics out there who were pumped up by the idea of a ‘healthy new me’, here’s a quick update. How fit and healthy do you feel from within? Well, if you are uncertain, you need to pay attention to your diet before anything else.

While a good workout regime can help you in toning those muscles, you must not forget the nutrition that your body requires in the form of diet. Indian household kitchens are brimming with desi superfoods that are abundantly rich in nutrition profile, but we often overlook them–either due to lack of awareness or because of their distinct taste.

Well, today we bring to you a list of six such desi superfoods that must be a part of your daily diet, no matter what.

1. Amaranth or rajgira
One of the oldest grains cultivated in India, amaranth or rajira is a powerhouse of nutrition. Whether you use it in the form of flour or as is, it makes for a healthy substitute for all its other unhealthy counterparts like all-purpose flour.

This gluten-free grainy ingredient is often used by healthy bakers who wish to dish out nutritious cakes and cookies. Since it is high in protein and fibre, you can add it to your meals to stay satiated for long enough, or rather we should say, to keep untimely hunger pangs at bay.

2. Sorghum or jowar
Fibrous, bitter and rich in texture, jowar is a millet that is abundantly grown across India. The hot maida pooris or those puffy bhaturas that you tend to binge on mindlessly are all made using all-purpose flour. What you can instead do is replace the unhealthy flour with a healthy one. How about using jowar atta?

desi superfoods 2020
Jowar is a superfood that is replete with nutrition. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Apart from being rich in fibre, jowar is replete with potassium and phosphorus, both of which help in lowering cholesterol and managing high blood pressure.

“One of the best flours for those with a prevailing diabetic condition, jowar atta promotes gradual rise in blood sugar as it is a source of complex carbs,” says Dr Deepika Kohli, clinical nutritionist, Lifecare Centre.

3. Bulgar wheat or dalia
If all your life you’ve been a staunch hater of dalia, let us warn you that you’re missing out on something REALLY healthy in life. Don’t believe us? Well, according to USDA, one cup of cooked dalia has 150 calories, 7.14 grams of protein, 11.9 grams of fibre, and 1.55 grams of fat. What else do you want from life?

Dalia is a breakfast staple among Indian households for all the right reasons. From improving digestion to boosting energy and managing diabetes, the benefits of dalia are aplenty.

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4. Drumstick or moringa stick
Most of you would be familiar with the word ‘drumstick’ as it is commonly used in a plethora of south Indian delights, especially sambhar. Not only does it impart a distinct flavour to dishes but also increases the nutritional quotient of the dish a notch higher.

A very interesting thing about moringa is that every part of the tree has got some or the other health benefits to offer. For instance, you sun-dry the moringa leaves, crush and grind them and you’ll have an antioxidant-rich moringa powder ready, which helps in flushing out harmful toxins from your body.

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5. Kokum
Often used as a souring agent or as an additive in foods, kokum is a plant that is used both as a medicine as well as a spice. All those who are on a weight loss spree, pay attention. It’s time to add kokum to your diet as it is known for its anti-obesity activity.

Also, read: Swap your regular cooking oil with soybean oil to reduce the chances of obesity

According to a study, published in the International Research Journal of Pharmacy, intake of hydroxycitric acid present in kokum reduces appetite, inhibits lipogenesis, and reduces body weight.

6. Buckwheat or kuttu ka atta
Come Navratras and people start going gaga over this humble kitchen ingredient. Right from pooris to pakoras, there is absolutely nothing that cannot be prepared using kuttu ka atta. This inexpensive and healthy kitchen ingredient is gluten-free and lends an earthy flavour to the dishes it is added to.

So, without further ado, make a note of these desi superfoods and don’t forget to add them to your basket in the next grocery visit.

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About the Author

An eccentric foodie and a die-hard falooda lover, Deeksha loves riding scooty in search of good street food! Being a full-grown adult, she is shamelessly addicted to stationary and all-things cutesy. Excellent in making spontaneous plans in town and abroad, she is perpetually bitten by the travel bug. ...Read More

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