Nutritional Information & the Health Benefits of Indian Food

Indian cuisine is not only tasty but also very healthy. Many Indian are vegetarians and they eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains, milk and plant-based proteins. These foods contain essential micro-nutrients and vitamins that produce antioxidants which are good for heart, blood pressure and diabetes. A daily diet rich in spices may offer protection against strokes and obesity problems, cancer and other illnesses. This may be reason, why Indians suffer lower cases of many cancers. A chemical called capsaicin, which fives spicy food its kick, holds they key to the next generation of anti - cancer drugs. Timothy Bates and other researchers at the University of Nottingham found that capsaicin can kill cancer cells by directly targeting their energy source, indicating that people could control or prevent the onset of cancer by eating a diet rich in capsaicin. Understanding the health benefits of each ingredient is key to optimizing home cooked meals for the particular needs of the family. Fresh, home-cooked food is one of the keys to vibrant health and longevity.

Even nowadays when most Indian cuisine lovers can afford meat, each kind of meat can taste completely different when different spices are added. Herbs and spices make simple vegetarian dishes flavorsome and really exciting. The meat is either cooked in a wok or in a special tandoori oven – therefore it’s not fatty, neither overcooked. It’s served along with vegetables and rice – giving a well-balanced mixture of carbohydrates and proteins.

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Indian food surprises us not only with its incomparable flavors and scents but also contains medicinal and preservative properties. Spices contain essential micro-nutrients and vitamins that produce antioxidants which are good for your heart, blood pressure and controlling blood sugar. Find out which Indian spices are good for you and why?

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Lentils and legumes have impressive health benefits.
Lentils are an excellent source of cholesterol lowering fiber and they can manage blood sugar disorders preventing blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal.
Diets rich in fiber reduce the risk of many cancers.

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The health benefits of the Indian food depend on the method of cooking.

Too much cream, fat yogurt, ghee or oil will make dish richer in taste and texture, but with out any nutritional value. These foods prepared with deep frying onions, ginger, and spices in lot of oil or ghee are higher in fat. Instead of deep frying, you can stir-fry or sauté them in very little vegetable oil. The over-cooked foods lose their nutrition because, in the process, the vitamins and minerals are leached out. You should leave the cooking of a vegetable when it is still crisp. Never use trans fats, - they are not healthy. When you stir-fry, do not overheat the oil. Do not chop the vegetables into too small pieces. The vegetable will lose its nutrients if it has more exposed surfaces to the atmosphere. Always chop the vegetables only when you cook them, do not chop and leave them for a long time. Do not wash the vegetables after chopping to preserve their nutrients.

Importance of milk.

Unlike Western populations, the vast majority of Indians are Lacto-Vegetarians, that is, they drink milk and eat foods of plant origin. Therefore, milk and milk products like butter, desi ghee, mithais, paneer, form the major source of animal fats in the Indian diets. Milk contains all the essential amino acids, the building blocks for normal growth and development. They also provide energy, vitamin A, S, riboflavin, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. Detrimental effects of milk deprivation are evident in underprivileged sections of the society, where children have a high prevalence of protein energy malnutrition and blindness due to vitamin A deficiency.

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According to Ayurvedic theory, all diseases originate in the gastrointestinal tract, and are ultimately caused by decreased enzyme activity and poor digestion. Improperly digested foods are said to form a substance, that blocks the body's digestive and energy channels. Important is the balance between proper eating habits, nutritional food intake and regular exercises. Also, daily consumption of Ayurvedic health supplements improves digestive mechanisms, absorption and assimilation of food, enhancement of immunity system against common cold and respiratory infections, increase in memory retention, purification of blood, elimination of toxins, improvements in complexion and enhancement of protein synthesis in the body. According to ayurveda color of food resembles color of chakra.

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According to KamaSutra food is not only for the body but it is also for nourishing the soul. Across many different cultures certain foods have emerged with a reputation for being aphrodisiacs. Food and many other substances primarily affect us with a combination of various sensuous reactions - the visual satisfaction of the sight of appetizing food, the stimulation of their pleasing smells and the tactile gratification.
Although modern medical science recognizes a very limited number of aphrodisiacs, now we do know that there are certain trace elements like zinc that are important for complete health as well as increase sexual desire. There are many recipes, based on knowledge about food containing aphrodisiac proprieties.

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