Breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, and sometimes even in between, we can't do without food.
Food energises us and provides our bodies with much-needed nourishment.
Food impacts our physical well-being to a large extent. In fact, regular and balanced consumption of nutrition-rich food may lower the risk of heart disease and even diabetes.
When it comes to food, India is blessed with abundance, both in terms of agricultural production and cuisine diversity.
Now, when you have a variety of healthy Indian food items at your disposal, choosing what to eat can be troublesome.
We have selected 5 Indian food items that are filling and nutritionally rich. The best part is that these can be found easily in most major cities in India.
- 5. Vegetable Khichdi
- 4. Set Dosa (Sponge Dosa) - Served with Mix Vegetable Curry and Coconut Chutney
- 3. Makke Ki Roti and Sarso Ka Saag
- 2. Litti and Chokha
- 1. Idli - Served with Sambhar and Chutney
- Wholesome Food Matters
5. Vegetable Khichdi
Light on tummy and on pocket unless ordering from somewhere exorbitant. 🤑
Vegetable Khichdi is a complete meal. It contains rice, dal (lentils), essential spices, ghee (clarified butter), and a variety of vegetables ranging from carrots to peas, cauliflower, and sometimes even a few chunks of paneer here and there.
What makes vegetable khichdi nutritious?
- Made with rice, a rich source of carbohydrates for energy
- Contains dal (lentils) for protein, fibre and other essential nutrients like vitamin B6, manganese, iron, and copper
- Has an assortment of vegetables which are naturally rich in dietary fibre, vitamins, phosphorus and magnesium
- Ghee (clarified butter) provides healthy fats and vitamin A
4. Set Dosa (Sponge Dosa) - Served with Mix Vegetable Curry and Coconut Chutney
A breakfast favourite is often served in 3 numbers, along with a side of mixed vegetable curry and chutney. Set dosas differ from regular crispy dosas in terms of their texture and taste.
Set dosa is fluffy and has a porous texture. Also, it is soft, unlike the regular dosas, which are crispy.
How is set dosa nutrition-rich?
- Batter used to make set dosa consist of rice, poha (flattened rice), urad dal, and fenugreek seeds - Rice and poha are excellent source of carbohydrates, while urad dal provides the much-needed protein
- The sides, which include vegetable curry and coconut chutney, are rich in fibre and essential minerals like selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper
3. Makke Ki Roti and Sarso Ka Saag
This one's amongst the finest healthy Indian food dishes and is a winter delicacy. Still, one can relish it any time of the year. It's a combo meal and is ideal for lunch or dinner. Add healthy butter or ghee to the rotis to make it a heavenly meal. 😋
Why is it nutritious?
- Makke di roti - It's made with corn flour, which is naturally gluten-free. Corn flour is high in fibre content and also provides protein, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus, amongst other minerals
- Sarso da saag - The key ingredient of this dish is sarso saag/sarso bhaji (mustard greens). It's a green, leafy vegetable with vitamins A, C, and B9. One can also benefit from numerous minerals present in it, the major ones being magnesium, calcium, and iron
2. Litti and Chokha
A hidden gem for a long, this healthy Indian food has come to the limelight in recent years. It is now widely available in several parts of India. Litti and chokha are inseparable combo foods, much like makke ki roti and sarson ka saag.
The food was native to regions in the eastern part of India and now is a favourite evening snacking option for many.
How are litti and chokha nutrition-wise?
- The dough used to make litti is made using whole wheat, which makes it a better alternative to snacks made using maida
- Litti is often roasted on flames instead of deep frying, thereby having a lower fat content. Yes, there does exist fried litti, but avoid them, and the littis dipped in ghee to cut down on fat content
- Sattu (roasted gram flour) used as filling in litti is a rich source of dietary fibres and high in protein content
- Chokha, served along with litti, when consumed in moderation, can provide the much-needed carbohydrates for energy along with potassium and a trace amount of iron and sodium
1. Idli - Served with Sambhar and Chutney
Mini idli (also called button idli), thatte idli, or the legendary regular idli as we know it, comes in varying sizes, but what's common is it's guilt-free and one of the best healthy Indian food options.
Fluffy, steamed to perfection, and mild in aroma. Idlis are an irresistible food widely preferred by people across India for breakfast. It is also eaten during other times of the day, but the crown is reserved for the mighty idlis during breakfast hours. 👑
What makes idli, sambhar, and chutney nutritionally rich?
- Idlis are made with a fermented batter of rice and dal (lentils), which is rich in carbohydrates needed to kickstart your day. Also, lentils in the batter and sambar make them good sources of protein
- Since idlis are made with fermented batter and steamed, they are easier to digest
- Sambar also contain vegetables, primarily drumstick, bhindi (ladyfinger), kaddu (pumpkin), and tomatoes - They provide dietary fibre, potassium, and some amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium
- Coconut chutney, without which this nutritious Indian food is incomplete, contain several types of vitamin, the major one being vitamin B9 and other minerals include calcium, potassium, and iron
Wholesome Food Matters
Health is wealth.
Often said, yet often ignored.
Over 11% of India's population is diabetic, and 35% of Indian population has hypertension.
Lifestyle and our working patterns have changed, along with our food habits. Today, if somebody eats whole fruits and not fruit ice cream, many wonder if they are dieting.
Suppose somebody eats fresh greens and nutritious vegetables. In that case, people wonder if they are all right or if they are eating them at the doctor's prescription.
Eating whole food and organic food should be the norm and not the exception.
Food greatly affects our health, and keeping a check on what we eat and don't is totally in our control.
If we eat healthy, the one to reap its benefits is us; if we do not eat healthy, the one to bear its consequences is also us.
It is important to note that the information provided in this article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional nutritional or medicinal advice. Before making any changes to your diet or food habits or deciding on the inclusion or exclusion of specific ingredients, it is highly recommended to seek guidance from a qualified nutritionist, dietitian, or healthcare professional. The information presented here is not a substitute for professional expertise, diagnosis, or treatment. The author and publisher hereby disclaim any liability for any adverse effects or consequences resulting from the use of the information contained in this article.
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