Indian food is a diverse cuisine that varies from region to region and varietal to varietal. There are many health benefits of Indian food, especially the lower glycemic index of curries, chilies, and spices. Indian food is rich in antioxidants, minerals like iron and magnesium, vitamins C and A; it also contains natural sugars such as the lactose in milk curdled with yogurt. Studies have shown that “eating one serving of curry provides more total antioxidant activity than drinking one glass of wine”.
In the United States, the amount of Indian restaurants has increased dramatically over the last few decades along with other types of international cuisines such as Mexican food. Increasingly, Indian dishes are becoming part of American diets and are being produced by Indian American food companies (such as Massimo’s Food Products, Tasty Bite, etc.) that bring authentic spice blends, bread, and various types of ingredients to grocery stores.
Indian food and its health benefits
Rajma (kidney beans) is a sweet red bean curd that is boiled with spices such as turmeric and fenugreek and eaten with rice. It contains many minerals such as potassium and magnesium. It is not often cooked because it spoils fast.
Even though rajma has more nutritional value than other beans, it is considered a “poor man’s food” in India. A food item with high nutritional value, low cost, and long shelf life are desirable in developing countries. Poverty causes people to have a high risk of malnutrition. According to a recent study by “The World Bank,” 26% of India’s population is undernourished.
The milk curdled with yogurt usually contains higher amounts of calcium than regular milk and lower amounts of lactose. Milk has been considered a healthy food for centuries, and recently the term “milk-thistle” started to be used about the effects of milk on the body having to do with gallbladder disease.
With changes from a traditional diet in India due to modernization such as increased urbanization, increased access to processed foods, etc. a large number of Indian people have been affected by Vitamin D deficiency.
The bioavailability of vitamin D from food sources is a matter of debate. A review in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, in 2005, reported that the findings were inconclusive. Studies testing the effectiveness of dietary supplementation with Vitamin D in preventing rickets found conflicting conclusions ranging from dramatic reductions to no difference from placebo treatments (a sugar pill).
In a nutshell, Indian food’s health benefits are not only delicious and exotic but also plentiful! Indian cuisine is a diverse culinary tradition that originated in the Indian subcontinent with roots in the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. It includes various regional cuisines such as Punjabi, South Indian, Mughlai, Gujarati, and Rajasthani which have been adapted to local tastes and ingredients over time. The wide array of dishes served by an Indian restaurant includes vegetable-based curries and rice dishes prepared using spices or herbs; some dishes use dairy products such as yogurt or coconut milk. Cereals made of grains such as wheat, barley, or millet are also widely eaten along with legumes such as lentils.