A balanced diet is a one that gives our body the required nutrition to function effectively. Majority of the calories should come from fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.
Let’s have a look at the food plate.
Now does this plate resemble our good old thali?
Let’s have a look at our Indian food now.
Scientifically your food preferences should be in sync with the place you live in. ‘Ideally one should choose foods that are climatically, geographically suited for the individual. That means, eat more seasonal grains, fresh produce and fruits that grow in the soil you live in. These are packed with the right kind of nutrients and minerals that your body needs the most.
BREAD: Made of whole wheat or variety of flours such as jowar, bajra etc
Rotis, Parathas, Bhakhris ARE ALL HEALTHY. OCCASINALLY white flour breads as Nan or Pooris are included. Weight watchers can minus that. Our healthy breads are sans yeast rendering it more nutritive.
RICE: Generally eaten with dal. The combination is a complete protein too.certain rice dishes like khichdi,pulao,biryani etc make a complete meal on its own.
VEGETABLES: Variety of vegetables to choose from and seasonal vegetables have their own goodness on the body. Nature has been very kind and offer food that the body needs the most in that season.Cooked in traditional way with spices and condiments each having its own medicinal value, be it haldi, jeera,cloves etc. the cooking method is also such to retain the nutritive value. Each region having a distinct flavor.
FRUITS: Are served as salad,or raita or had all by themselves.
MILK/MILK PRODUCTS: Milk is had with breakfast.
Dahi, Lassi, Chaas had after meals. They give the necessary probiotics and help digestion.
MEAT/POULTRY/BEANS/EGGS: Generally Indians have more vegetarian food than the other parts of the world.
Dals and beans such as moong,matki,chawli,chickpeas,rajma etc find their way in each indian cuisine.These make a wholesome protein substitute for animal products. Fish is a staple food in the coastal regions and eastern region, the geography and availability makes it a staple food.
FATS/OILS/SWEETS: Ghee has its own nutritional and medicinal value. Homemade ghee is the best bet.
Generally indian sweets are more calorie dense than compared otherwise. Made of milk /grains or vegetables.eg Sheera, Gajjar Halwa, Bengali Sweets etc. these are occasional treats to celebrate an occasion or festival.
To sum this up traditional Indian meals not only satisfy the taste buds but are truly wholesome and nutrient dense providing ample health benefits. They are a complete balance of Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats and the Micronutrients neede by the body to function at its optimum. This with a good exercise is your way to good health.
Stay Healthy Stay Happy!