Health, Latest, Lifestyle

Five Desi Superfoods You MUST Include In Your Diet

And here's how you can do that

By Sherazade Khan

Sure, you’ve heard your nani and dadi, perhaps even your mom, telling you, “beta haldi doodh piyo,” for just about any ailment, and guess what? It’s true, but unfortunately mixing it with milk isn’t the best way to reap the multitude of health benefits this spice has to offer.

Here are some desi superfoods you can easily incorporate into your daily diet for maximum benefit.

Turmeric or haldi

(But of course)

Why it’s good?

It is perhaps one of the most amazing antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. Consuming two teaspoons of this powder a day can help prevent (and fight diseases) such as heart disease, cancer and even Alzheimer’s amongst other degenerative conditions.

How to take it?

Just using the spice on its own isn’t the most effective way of absorbing curcumin – the all-important active ingredient. Consume turmeric along with some black pepper, which contains piperine – a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000%. The best way to do this is to swallow three to five whole black peppercorns with haldi doodh or any other form of turmeric supplement!

Ginger or adrak

Why it’s good?

Just like haldi, ginger is a great immunity booster and fights inflammation. Gingerols are present in abundance in this root and they cut the risk of cancer. In fact, studies have shown that they have the potential to induce the death of ovarian cancer cells! It also helps fight nausea, aids in digestion, and provides relief from those irritating coughs and colds, especially the ones that leave that horrible chik chik in your throat.

How to take it?

Use it to spice up your meals but also down a cup of hot adrak chai one or two times a day. Boil two cups of water and add an inch-long piece of ginger into it. Once the water has reduced to one cup, strain out the ginger and sip. Add a dash of honey and lemon or mint to make it tastier if you can’t stomach it on its own.

Garlic or lehsan

Why it’s good?

Not only does it prevent arteries from getting clogged up, it reduces the risk of a number of heart stroke and dementia. It helps lower high blood pressure and cholesterol. The close relative of Onion is rich in essential nutrients, such as vitamin C, B6, manganese, selenium and allicin, and has been found to lower the chances of some cancers – like stomach, colon, oesophagus, pancreas and breast cancer.

How to take it?

Consuming three to four cloves a day is all it takes. They turn out delicious when roasted in the oven for about half an hour to forty five minutes. You can spread it on toast or eat it on its own. It is essential to crush the clove when consuming it, so if you’re having them raw, remember to open it up to release the active ingredients.

Still not convinced to consume it? Add the pressed garlic to honey!

Fenugreek or methi

Why it’s good?

This is yet another superfood which helps prevent cardiac issues and diabetes, as it lowers cholesterol and blood pressure along with balancing blood glucose levels. It also works well to treat digestive ailments, such as heartburn, constipation, gastritis, and poor appetite. Ladies, if you’re feeling PMS-Y, suffering from excruciating cramps, or PCOS, then consuming methi can certainly help.

Furthermore, it increases milk production for lactating mothers!

How to take it?

Both the seeds and leaves work as an antacid, so boil them in two cups of water and drink when reduced to one cup. Consuming this 15 minutes before a meal, on a daily basis, controls blood glucose levels in the long term and prevents hyperglycaemia and associated complications in diabetic patients.

To relieve pain, wrap the methi daanas in a muslin cloth, warm it on a skillet or tava and apply to the area to reduce swelling and muscular aches or even gout.

Indian Gooseberry or Amla

Why it’s good?

Bursting with vitamin C, this fruit packs a punch when it comes to boosting immunity and fighting infection. It also significantly reduces total cholesterol and triglycerides while pushing up the good cholesterols (HDL). In fact, studies have shown that it can be used to lower the required dose of lipid-lowering drugs.

How to take it?

You only need to have one amla a day! Wash it well, pit it, and then cut it into bite-sized pieces. If you can manage to eat it on its own, then that’s great. Otherwise, dip it in honey to neutralise the sour taste.