Saturday 23 February 2019

Unravelling the idea of native superfoods!

By Express News Service
Superfoods are foods that are rich in nutrients and are beneficial for your health and wellbeing. The concept of superfoods has been trending for a while and has gained recognition, both nationally and internationally.
‘Superfoods’ worldwide are mostly international foods such as kale, chia seeds, and quinoa and have come into India at the cost of the rich variety of Indian foods that have existed for centuries. The term has started gaining popularity among Indians because of their rich omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants and dietary fibre.
There is no standard criterion or an approved list of superfoods. Each food has a role in nutrition. In fact, any minimally processed, well-cultivated foodgrain can be turned as a superfood.  
One could call the ‘Finger Millet’ or Ragi, from India a superfood because of its high fibre, calcium and phytochemical content. In India, the label superfood is being associated with the forgotten foods like millets, amaranth, basil seeds and the likes. Shruti Kumbla, senior nutritionist, Pristine Organics, tells us more.
Both quinoa and amaranth are cereals. One could also call them pseudocereals (both are non-grasses that are used in much the way as cereals which are in the form of grass eg: rice paddy, wheat field). While quinoa is seen as a rare and exotic food, amaranth remains subdued and sidelined. Amaranth, also known as rajgeera or ramadana, is a favourite in Jain and other communities during fasting and other rituals.
Chia is a classic by-product of the marketing efforts of the West. Compositionally, chia is similar to basil as both are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acid and dietary fibre. However, when it comes to price, chia seeds cost a whopping `350 (250g) compared to basil seeds, priced at `145 (250g)
Cabbage is a common find among Indian households. Kale and cabbage can both be traced to the same family Brassica Oleracea. Cabbage is a rich source of Vitamin C and phytochemicals, whereas kale contains a good source of B complex vitamin.
There are many such examples of homegrown superfoods that far much better than the celebrated foods consumed across the world. However, even though superfoods are the perfect health options, focussing more on these foods may lead to an imbalanced diet because of the excess amount of omega 3 fatty acid rich food.
Understanding the needs of your body truly can help in meeting the nutritional requirements. Therefore, choose diversity in your plate and lay the foundation of good health and nutrition.

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