There is a notion that Indian food is oily and spicy at all times. This is however a misconception that is based on a few celebratory and fast foods. Being largely a plant-based diet that is also generally low in fat, the everyday authentic Indian foods tend to be surprisingly healthy. To understand what makes Indian food healthy, we look at some of its main characteristics and the benefits that come with them.
About nine to ten servings of fruits and vegetables are recommended per day. This might appear difficult, but sticking to diets that incorporate them in meals will make it easier. This is one of the things that Indian restaurant food has to offer. Indian food is rich in vegetables and fruits making them very nutritious. Additionally, attention is paid in terms of how they are cooked such it does not suck out all the nutrients.
One of the main sources of these nutritious components is Indian’s famous vegetarian curries. These are often made with chickpeas which are full of nutrients such as fiber, zinc, protein, and folate. Spinach and tomatoes are also a typical part of Indian meals, providing consumers with a high vitamin and mineral content. This emphasis on vegetables and fruits as opposed to meat has also been linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Spices and Herbs
The one thing you are guaranteed to find in Indian restaurant food is a wide variety of spices and herbs. While these contribute to the incredible flavor, they are also responsible for a wide range of health benefits. They are mostly known for their antioxidant properties which are very useful in disease prevention. For instance, we have the chili which provides immune-boosting benefits and has even become the focus of various research to link it to slowing down lung cancer.
Another spice that is mostly featured in Indian restaurant food is turmeric. It is said to have anti-inflammatory effects that help with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Garlic is another frequently used spice that is also beneficial to the heart. Referred to as a superfood, we also have Nutmeg that features strong antibacterial benefits that are useful in fighting tooth decay.
Another common component of Indian restaurant food is dairy. With an Indian diet, you are likely to find yourself taking a significant amount of milk and curd. This is because they are present in most Indian meals. As they are rich in Calcium, you are guaranteed certain health benefits. For instance, these foods will contribute to the improvement of your bone health by reducing the risk of bone disease such as osteoporosis.
Another characteristic that makes Indian restaurant food healthy is the organic nature of the ingredients that are used to prepare Indian meals. This means that you will not find any food ingredients that are processed.
From the vegetables to the spices, everything is prepared from scratch such that no artificial ingredients are used in Indian cooking. This way, the full nutritional value is retained and any unhealthy additives are avoided.
Misconceptions about Indian food have earned it a reputation for an unhealthy diet. As seen above, this is definitely false. From containing various nutrients to providing certain healthy properties, there is a lot of health benefits that Indian food has to offer.