Not only in weight loss circles, superfoods are hugely popular among health enthusiasts as well because these foods supply a great deal of nutrients in a limited quantity. Such nutritionally-dense food contain high amounts of vitamins, antioxidants, protein, fiber, and minerals. Importantly, it’s not realistic to pin lots of expectations on superfoods when it comes to weight loss or to treat medical conditions; however, with their rich value, they do boost weight loss efforts and improve overall health. However, a lot of internationally-acclaimed superfoods such as acai berries, kale, seaweed, are too exotic and out-of-reach for a lot of people in India. Also, we should give a lot of importance to locally available foods because they tend to retain their nutritional value much better. While we may bicker the lack of certain superfoods such as kale or nori sheets in India, we often overlook the abundant amount of nutritious produce available in India. So, in this post, we would list down 14 Indian Alternatives for International Superfoods. Read on 🙂
14 Indian Alternatives for International Superfoods:
1. Foxtail Millet instead of Quinoa: Both quinoa and foxtail millet are gluten free and rich in nutrients, fiber. Additionally, this millet is rich in iron, antioxidants, and regulates blood sugar.
2. Sabja seeds/Flaxseeds instead of Chia Seeds: Chia and sabja look the same and belong to the same mint family, but chia seeds score well in their omega-3 fatty acid content. On the other hand, sabja seeds which need to be soaked in water so that they swell up, are rich in iron and antioxidants. If you are looking for a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, look no further than flaxseeds (alasi).
3. Indian gooseberries (Amla) instead of acai berries: Acai berries are popular for their antioxidant properties and you can get the same benefits through amla with its high vitamin C content.
4. Coconut Oil/Mustard Oil instead of Olive Oil: It’s no surprise that people in the west have started to include coconut oil heavily in their cooking because this oil has healthy fats, boosts the fat-burning process, and raises good cholesterol in the body. Likewise, mustard oil reduces inflammation, has anti-microbial benefits, and has a high smoke point. All these Indian oils are much better than vegetable or refined oils and much cheaper than olive oil.
5. Ghee instead of Butter: The secret to fat-burning can lie in two dollops of ghee in your dal per day. Ghee is rich in amino acids and accelerates the burning of fatty acids inside the body. Make a complete switch from butter to ghee right now.
6. Spinach instead of Kale: From green juice to smoothies, people all over the world vouch for the health benefits that come along with kale, and in India, we have spinach or palak which is a powerhouse of nutrients with its rich magnesium, vitamin A, E, zinc, folate, and potassium content – all essential for the fat-burning process and for great health.
7. Moringa Powder instead of Matcha Powder: The Japanese matcha tea is full of antioxidants and we can find its equivalent in moringa powder which is touted to have 7 times more vitamin C than oranges. Additionally, it has calcium, protein, and amino acids as well.
8. Amaranth instead of Quinoa: A rich source of protein, this anciently cultivated grain is high in protein and fiber, and low in fats and can be an easy replacement for quinoa.
9. Ashwagandha instead of Ginseng: To boost immunity, lower stress levels, and improve thyroid function, and also to regulate blood sugar levels, include India’s own ashwagandha in your diet.
10. Jamun instead of goji berry: Great to regulate blood sugar levels and to purify blood, jamun is good replacement for goji berries.
11. Doodhi or Chow Chow instead of Zucchini: Doodhi (bottle gourd) or chow chow can help you lose weight the same way zucchini does because all of them are low in calories.
12. Guava instead of Strawberries: If you are looking for that one fruit that would spike insulin by a great level yet give you loads of nutrients, pick up a guava which with its high vitamin C content and low fructose level would help boost weight loss effort, the same way strawberries do.
13. Buckwheat instead of Quinoa: Kuttu or buckwheat, which Rati Beauty weight loss diets extensively use in their recipe is a superfood which has not gotten its due credit because it has vitamins and is rich in fiber, along with magnesium, protein, and iron. It also lowers bad cholesterol in the body and is low in calories. Check out Rati Beauty diets to find out how to lose weight by including buckwheat.
14. Wheatgrass instead of Seaweed: Extensively popular in the west as a superfood which has a complete range of vitamins from A to vitamin K, along with iron, antioxidants benefits, seawood would find a tough competition in India from wheatgrass which is locally produced and has almost the same nutrition profile as seaweed with its iron, vitamins A, C, E, magnesium, calcium, and trace minerals content.
Can you think of any other superfood that hasn’t gotten its due credit yet? If yes, please do list it down below 🙂
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