When it comes to healthy eating habits, Indians are right there on the top of the list. Owing to the unique culinary traditions and rich cultural choices, Indian food is really diverse. Though there is a wide range of cooking styles, which vary from region to region, there are still certain food-preparation styles and eating habits that are common throughout the country. Spices, vegetables, fruits and herbs hold a significant place in everyday eating habits. You will be surprised to know that the Indian cookery has a history of almost 5,000 years. With different ethnic, cultural and regional groups interacting with each other in the region, Indian cuisine is a true blend of flavor and nutrition. Here, I am going to share with you the top 5 Indian eating habits that are good for health.
1. Their spices have super-healing powers.
Among all the health related benefits of Indian foods, spices hold a vital place. Coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, mustard, cumin, cardamom, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, funnel seeds—and the list of spices goes on and on. Not only do they add flavor and aroma to the food, they also act as antiseptics and antibiotics.
Almost all dishes comprise of turmeric (haldi), which gives an attractive yellowish golden color to stews and curries. It is a wonderful spice that controls cholesterol and blood pressure. Regular use of turmeric reduces the risk of heart failure. Cayenne pepper is a natural herb for natural weight loss. It is a detoxing agent with excellent immune-system-boosting properties. Cardamom clears and refreshes your breath. Its also helps you with the proper digestion of food. Curry leaves (kadi patta) not only give a nice smell to your food, but also provide the health benefits such as cutting down weight-burning fats in your body. They also help your liver function properly and maintain blood sugar levels.
2. Indians prepare fresh food.
Mostly Indians prefer to prepare fresh food on daily basis. Sometimes they do it thrice a day; breakfast, lunch and dinner. Might seem strange and hectic, but the truth is that it is something quite normal for the people of India. Despite all the hassle and increased number of working men and women, frozen food is still not considered to be a good idea.
Indians are reluctant to use processed food as the natural structure of food is totally changed during the process. They eat fresh and healthy food and remain protected from several diseases like cancer, heart attack, diabetes and other degenerative diseases. Furthermore, in the Ayurveda system—a popular belief system in India—it is recommended to avoid eating food that has been preserved or kept for long.
3. Indian beverages are full of flavor.
Lassi, nimbu pani, masala doodh, chai—there is an endless list of Indian non-alcoholic beverages, all fresh and full of taste. The use of these beverages promises good mental and physical health as opposed to the alcoholic beverages that increase the possible risks of stroke, liver failure and other deadly diseases. Whether on the street or in a restaurant, you can find myriad options of these beverages to quench your thirst. It doesn’t matter if it is summer or winter; you can be served with drinks with an eclectic assortment of spices, herbs and flavors!
4. Chapatti (Flatbread) is their staple food.
Chapatti, roti or fulka (whatever you call it) is an integral part of Indian diet since forever. The process of preparation is an easy one which involves steps of making dough (preferably from wheat), rolling and then roasting on a pan (now roti-makers are also available in the market). Easily digestible, full of proteins and carbohydrates—the chapatti offers many nutritional benefits.
5. They love chutneys—yum!
An Indian cuisine seems to be incomplete without mentioning the “chutney.” It can be a side dish or a full food, depending on your appetite. Chutney can contain yoghurt, mint, cucumber, coconut, walnut, ground peanuts and what not! Just mix them and here you are with the yummilicious flavors ready to go into your tummy. If you are in a hurry, you can have a chapatti with chutney, or even rice with chutney.
Featured photo credit: Flicker via flickr.com
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