According to World Health Organization (WHO), definition of Health states:“Health is a state of mental, physical and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of any disease or infirmity”. Hence to stay healthy would mean staying fit mentally and physically. Today we will focus on staying physically healthy and the super foods that help us achieve that.
4 super foods that tend to miss our line of sight
A lot matters on what we eat, how it is prepared and when we consume that food. Some of the main ingredients that we Indian use in our food are Oil, rice and flour. Imagine if we told you these are the 3 main ingredients that classify as super foods, which promises healthy and wholesome life were right there all that time but we never identified them.
Listed below are 4 super foods along with their health benefits:
BUCKWHEAT- a Wonder grain
All of us in India are familiar with the word ‘KuttuKaAtta’, the most preferable cereal during fasts. This is nothing but ‘Buckwheat flour’. Buckwheat flour is very rich in protein as compared to other cereals with a biological value of above 90. This nominates it under ‘first class protein’ category and also due to its essential amino acid profile.
- It is rich in iron, it also contains good quantities of magnesium, manganese, zinc and selenium which are needed for building immunity, strong bones, improving blood flow and maintaining the good texture of hair and skin.
- It contains appreciable amounts of B complex vitamins like niacin which is needed for the breakdown of carbohydrates and fats.
- It is loaded with dietary fibre which has a role in improving cholesterol and blood glucose levels.
- It contains health benefiting antioxidants too like polyphenols which gives protection from heart diseases, diabetes, various types of cancer and also delays ageing
Buckwheat is beneficial in various health conditions like diabetes, celiac disease, heart disease, anaemia and the list goes on. Buckwheat helps in managing blood glucose levels as it is rich in protein which promotes the synthesis of more insulin in the body. It is a boon for people suffering from celiac disease i.e. gluten intolerance since it does not contain gluten. It is beneficial for heart patients also because of its high antioxidant content. People suffering from anaemia can also be benefited from this cereal due to its high iron content. Buckwheat flour is widely available everywhere and is mostly consumed either as grains or flour.
Rice bran oil
According to the latest recommendations by National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)the ideal fatty acid composition of an oil is 27-33% (saturated fatty acid): 33-40%(monounsaturated) : 27-33%(polyunsaturated) and rice bran oil is closest to this recommendation. Its percentages being SFA (24%): MUFA (42%): PUFA (34%). It has a balanced fatty acid profile.
- Ricebran oil contains Vitamin E in forms (Tocopherol and Tocotrienol),which are natural antioxidantsand help fighting free radicals
- Squalene,antioxidant in rice bran oil, works wonders in improving skin health as it acts like a natural moisturizer, prevents the formation of wrinkles and delays skin ageing protecting the skin from sun damage
- Oryzanol,antioxidant in this oil reduces cholesterol levels in your blood and liver
- Rice brain oil is hypoallergenic so will not cause any allergic reactions when used in cooking, and can also calm your allergic reaction system in the body, preventing hyper-sensitivity to other unusual allergens
- Y-oryzanol, in rice bran oil, helps in curbing hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause
- Rice Bran oil, in spite of having high calories and fat constituents, has the ability of controlling weight gain
‘Last but not the least –‘Moderation is the key to good health’. Therefore, just like any other oil – its use is recommended in moderate amounts. NIN (National Institute of Nutrition) recommends 25 gm per day of oils and fats for adults with sedentary lifestyle while for individuals involved in hard physical work require 30 to 40 gm oils and fats. Diets of young children and adolescents should contain 30 to 50 gm per day of oils and fats.
Green Banana flour
It is made by drying unripe green bananas and grinding them to a fine powder. It has a mild nutty taste and is very similar to wheat flour, thus making it an ideal replacement in gluten-free recipes. Since it has high starch content it allows you to use less flour than required in your everyday recipes. One of the primary reasons for the numerous benefits of green banana is the presence of resistant starch in it. Most starches are broken down by enzymes in our small intestine into sugar, which is then absorbed into the blood. However resistant starch is a type of starch that isn’t fully broken down. Instead, it gets fermented in the large intestine and produces short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). SCFA are known to provide a host of benefits such as inhibiting the growth of pathogenic bacteria, promoting colon health, increasing nutrient circulation etc.
- Heart health: It is an excellent source of potassium which helps to control the electrical activity of the heart
- Diabetic friendly: Since the young bananas are picked before they ripen, their sugar content never fully develops
- Ideal for weight watchers: The resistant starch in green bananas slows the release of food through the gut
- Aids in digestion: The high content of prebiotic fibre
- Inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria: RS II, (Resistant Starch subtype II) present in green banana flour
- Increases absorption of minerals– especially calcium which can aid in preventing Osteoporosis.
- Promotes colon health: Resistant starch increases faecal bulking which promotes colon health
- High in essential minerals and vitamins including zinc, vitamin E, magnesium, and manganese
- Gluten Free: Ideal for those suffering from gluten intolerance
Black Rice or also known as ‘Forbidden Rice’ is a variety of rice that is considered to be very healthy. Simply put, when you look at the rice varieties look at the colour of the rice, the darker the shade of rice, the more nutrition it has. By that yardstick ‘Black Rice’ is the gold standard in rice varieties.
- Rich in Antioxidants: Black rice is a grain which is super rich and loaded with Antioxidants
- Rich in Fibre: Black rice is loaded with fibre and minerals. A typical bowl of 100gms of black rice serving has over 4.9 grams of fibre
- Has anti-inflammatory properties: Black rice is a natural healing food
- A natural detoxifying agent for your body: Black rice is a rich and natural detoxifying agent
- A gluten-free grain: Black rice, like other varieties of rice, is naturally gluten-free
- Helps fight diabetes: Black Rice bran contains fibre, which in turn helps glucose to be absorbed by your body over a longer period of time
- promotes healthy heart: A healing food like Black Rice has been shown to reduce the atherosclerotic plaque formation in the arteries which is the main reason for a heart attack and stroke
- Your weight loss partner: Black Rice is a whole grain and super rich in fibres
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