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As we get ready to bid our goodbyes to 2015 and close in on 2016, it is becoming increasingly clear – eating healthy should not be complicated.
If good health is your desire, there is no getting around your diet. Remember your physical health is a direct reflection of what you eat, and how you live your life in general. Pre-packaged and processed foods may be easy to cook, but whipping up a nutritious and balanced meal from scratch using natural ingredients is an absolute must if you want to achieve optimal health. So why wait? Stock your kitchen with these natural foods that offer a range of essential nutrients for a balanced diet and add them to your diet on a daily basis for a healthy boost to your life:
- Lemon (Nimbu)
Lemon is not only a good taste enhancer but is also packed with antioxidants and other health benefits that rejuvenates the body and mind. A daily dose of Lemon as lemonade or squeezed raw in meals boosts immunity, cleanses body and helps the overall health. To get even more nutrition out of this sour fruit, pair with lip smacking recipes for a refreshing taste and balanced diet.
- Almonds (Badam)
There are a whole lot of benefits in a handful of almonds, popularly known as Badam in India. With energizing protein, hunger fighting fiber and many essential nutrients, almonds are the tree nut highest in protein, fiber, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin and niacin. They are also one of the highest sources of hard-to-get magnesium. Daily consumption of these nuts have multiple benefits including helping you manage your weight, fight diabetes and keep your heart in a healthy shape. Fortunately, these flavour ful and versatile nuts are available throughout the year to make a healthy and tasty addition to your meals. Try these incredibly delicious badam recipes for easy, satiating and healthy snacking.
- Organic Eggs
A source of high-quality protein, organic eggs are relatively inexpensive and are a good source of quality nutrients that many people are deficient in. Eggs are easy to cook and make for great breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can try Andae ka Halwa or Badam Cutlet for some ‘eggilicious’ snacking.
‘Eat your Broccoli’ was a common phrase and your parents knew what was up when they told you that. This humble green vegetable is a source of multiple nutrients like fiber, calcium, potassium, folate and polynutrients that help in combating risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and other such diseases. Broccoli can be had as stir-fries, soups, salads, and casseroles.
- Oat Meal
What better way to begin the day than with a bowl full of oats mixed with dry fruits. Considered one of the healthiest wholesome foods, Oats is not only well balanced but also great to taste. It is packed with dietary fibers and minerals such as Manganese, Magnesium, Thiamin and Phosphorous. Incorporate Oats along with dry fruits in your regular diet for multiple health benefits.
With their unique combination of flavonoids and nutrients, Garlic is a must use ingredient in your daily diet. It is a good seasoning agent to add aroma and taste along with added nutrition to your dishes. Try these delicious recipes seasoned with Garlic: Taimuri Shorba, Murg Badam Korma and Badami Murg Kheema
High in fiber and antioxidants, beans are more than just meat substitutes. They provide myriad health benefits, and are easily available. Beans can be incorporated into a main dish (Rajma/Dal), side dish (Baked beans), appetizer (soup – Moong Dal Badami) or snack (dip). You can be creative in your meal planning when you have kidney beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, split peas and lentils in your kitchen.
The green and leafy spinach should be an essential component of your daily diet. Spinach contains lutein and zeaxanthin that boost immunity while improving eye-health. Make your salads with spinach; add spinach to scrambled eggs; drape it over pizza or cook the incredibly yummy Palak Badam ki Subzi.
- Indian Gooseberry
Deliciously sour and tart, Amla or Indian Gooseberry is a super food that is most commonly used ingredient of most Ayurvedic preparations. Amla is a rich source of Vitamin C and contains many vitals minerals essential for good metabolic health. To get the benefits of Amla in your diet, add a pinch of Amla powder in sweet and sour dishes, consume fresh Amla fruit or drink its juice to boost your overall wellbeing.
It is no coincidence that the yogurt section of most grocery stores has practically taken over the dairy aisle. Yogurt provides a healthy dose of bacteria that helps boost your immune system and provides protection against cancer. Yogurt topped with blueberries, almonds, flaxseed, and honey is the ultimate breakfast-or dessert. Yogurt is also a good base for salad dressings and dips.
write by Joshua Underwood