Seven nutritionist-approved monsoon superfoods that are a must-have

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Seasonal fruits and vegetables ensure that you get the best kind of nourishment during that period. With the monsoon season going on, in case you have not tweaked your diet, this is your cue to make some food-related changes, so that you make the most of this season while also strengthening your health and boosting immunity.

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Nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar suggested a fun way to go about it. On Instagram, she posted photos as part of her “seven monsoon superfoods” series, explaining exactly why you need to consume these foods and what their benefits are.

Diwekar started with sattu, calling it “a delicious, intelligent mix of chana dal, gehu and rice flour”, and the stuff that “nutrition love stories are made of”. She wrote that sattu provides the body with “minerals like calcium, vitamins like folic acid and essential amino acids like lysine”.

According to Diwekar, people should consume sattu because,

– it reduces menstrual cramps and clots.
– reduces dark circles under the eyes.
– reduces pigmentation and hair loss.

Next, she wrote about “makka/makai/butta/desi corn”. The expert wrote that you can have it “roasted, boiled, turned into pattice or rotis.” These are important because,

– they have vitamin B and folic acid required to give you good hair.
– the fibre to rid you of constipation.
– the taste to soothe and regulate blood glucose levels.

The next food item on her list is alu, which is a “big green leafy vegetable” and “one of the many wild and uncultivated vegetables that grow during the rains”. According to the nutritionist, it can be consumed to get a “glowing skin this monsoon”.

“They are a treasure trove of micronutrients, especially the lesser-known ones like hyaluronic acid (HA),” she wrote, adding that the collagen present in this food can prevent “all signs of aging”.

“And is known to give you a smooth, flawless, glowing complexion and even lustrous hair. HA helps even with vision issues, protects joints and is especially useful in rheumatoid arthritis.”

The fourth monsoon superfood, according to Diwekar, is “desi date/khajoor”. You should have it because,

– it improves haemoglobin levels.
– is used in treating sleep disorders.
– fights most infections and allergies.
– boosts exercise performance.

The expert wrote that you can have it “first thing in the morning”, “post lunch”, if haemoglobin levels are low, or it can be a part of “kids dabba”, especially if they are attaining puberty.

“Ragi/nachni” is the fifth monsoon superfood. Diwekar said this grain will “bring you not just minerals that strengthen the spine, but add to bio-diversity of the farmland, too”. In order to eat it, you can:

– cook it with milk as a porridge for breakfast. “It beats every health drink, especially the ones targeted for kids, in terms of its nutritional profile and benefits of height growth or strength and stamina”.
– roll it into steamed balls and have it with peanut chutney.
– make ladoos with jaggery and coconut.
– have it as ragi dosa with chutney.
– make it like a roti and have it with a sabzi.

“If you have kids under five, ensure that they are introduced to these foods already,” the nutritionist said, adding that ragi is great for people who are “anxious to lose weight”.

Jackfruit seeds are sixth on the list. The expert wrote that the monsoon season is ideal for the consumption of jackfruit seeds. “Most of the green veggies are off the menu, but the seeds ensure a steady supply of vitamins, fibre and minerals.”

She gave the following reasons as to why one must eat them:

* Versatile: They can be cooked as a sabzi or curry and eaten with rice. They can also be steamed or roasted with some salt and pepper for a delicious snack .
* Nutritious: They have polyphenols that give you ageless skin; zinc and other micro minerals that boost fertility and hormonal health; fibre, riboflavin and vitamin B profile that regulate high BP, improve blood sugar control and reduce gut inflammation.

The seventh and final food items on the list are “pulses/legumes/dal/usal”. According to the expert, there are three rules for eating pulses:

Rule 1. Soaking and sprouting them before cooking to reduce the anti-nutrients and to allow for optimum enzyme action to break them down.

Rule 2. Mixing them with millets and grains to improve their essential to non-essential amino acid ratio.

Rule 3. Having a wide variety of pulses and having them in different forms to optimise intake of all nutrients.

Would you like to give these seven superfoods a try?

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