By Kejal Sheth
For India, 15th August is a day for her re-birth. A lot of us make clean eating and fitness resolutions every year but see those fading away with the passing months. Let’s use this opportunity for the re-birth of those resolutions and transform our country into a #FitIndia
As we know that the 3 colors have a specific significance in the Indian Tricolor, similarly they also have a major impact on our diet. Let’s check it out.
Orange Foods: This group includes more or less all orange, yellow and red colored foods. Packed with nutrients, they contain high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C and flavonoids. Along with it being abundant in fiber; it is beneficial not only for skin and hair but also helps to decrease the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Pumpkin: The bright colored pumpkin flesh is loaded with fiber and minerals. The high potassium content also offers protection to the heart.
Saffron: A priceless spice which is very effective to treat cold and fever. It also promotes learning and memory retention thus being useful in the treatment of age-related mental impairment like Parkinson, dementia, etc.
Mango: Mangoes fulfill the requirements for vitamin A and C which boost immunity and improve eyesight. The anti-oxidants present help to produce collagen and thus work as an anti-aging food.
Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes aid in weight management. They are rich in folate and vitamin K essential for the functioning of all cells and tissues. It may also protect against sunburns.
Fresh dates: They are a storehouse of multiple minerals like manganese, copper, potassium. Also, they are loaded with antioxidants and fiber for glowing skin and form a digestive aid with a lower glycaemic index thus beneficial for diabetics.
Schezwan/Tomato sauce: They are loaded with plenty of salt, sugar and preservatives with minimalistic health benefit.
Fant /Miranda/Juices: Generally loaded with sugar, soda and fruit concentrates with ZERO fiber. Keep it real, have a whole fruit instead!
Cheetos/kurkure: The high amount of trans fat, sugar and sodium offer no benefit to your health. Instead, they work toward clogging the arteries in the long run.
White Foods: While the rule says to stay away from white foods but when explored enough there are a variety of white foods that are crammed with nutrients. The key benefit of white foods is that they boost immunity.
Garlic: This potent ingredient has been linked to heart health especially with stiff arteries and anti-cancer mechanisms. It also has anti-microbial properties.
Milk: Milk contains a wide array of nutrients like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, reducing the risk of fractures. It is a versatile ingredient, high in protein containing all essential amino acids.
Feta cheese: As compared to all other varieties of cheese, feta cheese is low in calories and high in minerals like calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D important for healthy bones. But on the other hand, it is slightly high in sodium content and hence must be used judiciously.
Radish: This root vegetable is packed with nutrients and anti-oxidants which heals the symptoms of piles, swelling and constipation and helps control blood sugars.
Refined flour: Or maida is virtually devoid of any fiber and contains minerals in trace amounts, almost negligible as it is a highly processed form of wheat.
Polished rice: While rice contains a decent amount of nutrients, the problem arises when it is polished. All the vitamins, essential amino acids and fiber are washed out with the removal of the bran layer.
Bread: The main ingredient is refined flour added to which we have sugar. Both of these ingredients raise blood sugars dramatically and should be quantified in our diets.
Green Foods: Ever imagined an ingredient that’s tasty and healthy and helps you shed off those extra kilos? Additionally helping rejuvenate your skin, lower the risk of cancer and aid digestion. Absolutely, the GREENS!
Leafy vegetables: These are a powerhouse of vitamin A, vital for healthy eye-sight and hair. It also provides proteins, along with being low in calories thus a plus for all weight loss goals.
Avocados: These protect your eyes with a high amount of vitamin E. Also they contain good quality fat i.e. MUFA (cholesterol-lowering fat).
Rosemary: This potent herb gives relief from a migraine, improves mood and reduces stress and anxiety.
Green beans: They are loaded with fiber which may reduce the risk of diabetes, obesity and heart diseases. Also, folate content is helpful for people suffering from depression.
Recipe: Having talked so much about the Tricolor and their benefits, here is a quick recipe to put them all on your plates.
1 cup pumpkin cubes
½ cup baby spinach (blanched)
¼ cup paneer
2 tbsp feta cheese
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp olive oil
Roast the pumpkin cubes in the oven.
Together in a pan roast paneer cubes and sesame seeds until golden brown.
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, top it with feta cheese and relish your taste buds with this nutrient-packed wholesome salad.