Tag: Sesame seeds

Why Indian cooking is healthy..

Why Indian cooking is healthy..

Indian cookingIndian cuisine just like other cuisines follows the traditional methods of cooking. As we know that Indian food is now being eaten all over the globe. Various misconceptions that it is unhealthy, too rich in fat and oil and spicy, has made a lot of people think twice before opting for Indian food. In India, I am shocked to see so many of our cooking methods are dying out. Let us have a look at the facts that justify Indian cooking is healthy.

 

  • Seasoning–  I love it when my kitchen emanates with the lovely smells after I season my dishes. Add a teaspoon or two of oil/ghee for the portion cooked for the whole family is really harmless. In-fact, it helps to absorb the fat soluble vitamins from food and aids digestion. For eg. adding a teaspoon of oil to greens such as Spinach, amaranth etc helps to absorb the vitamin K from it.So chuck the boiled vegetables and boiled dal and get the seasoning on.

 

  • Mutual supplementation– Eating a cereal and pulse/ pulse and milk group/ cereal and milk group combination helps to meet the required protein intake. This is cheaper on the pocket and is healthy. Most of the vegetarians eat this way. Classic examples are khichdi, curd rice, dhokla, pongal etc.

 

  • Use of whole spices– Adding bayleaf, mustard, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, sesame seeds, ginger, garlic, cloves etc helps in enriching our food with antioxidants, act as diuretics, add fiber to our diets.

 

  • Use of ground spices-Turmeric powder acts as an antiseptic and hence most of our meat our always washed and then smeared with turmeric. Fenugreek powder helps to reduce blood sugars.

 

  • Healthy cooking methods– Most of the dishes are ground, sauteed, steamed, stir fried, pressure cooking which are healthier methods and retain more nutrients than baking. Hence less trans-fats in the food. But sadly deep fried foods are a delicacy, that is where we fall back.

 

  • Fresh Ingredients– Most of the dishes are made from the scratch with fresh ingredients and always seasonal vegetables and fruits are used. Curry leaves, ginger, tamarind, lemons, raw mangoes etc are available in most of the Indian households.

 

  • Low processed food– Yes, canning, microwave dinners etc are non existent in Indian cooking. But yes, such foods are being imported for variety.

 

  • Natural preservatives– Salt, sugar, etc are the preservatives used rather than any chemicals being used.

 

  • High intake of vegetables– Most Indians feel their meals are incomplete without a sauteed vegetable. Tomatoes and onions are always used while cooking. Although intake of fruits depends on the affordability but again gooseberries, papayas, guavas, mangoes, star fruits, lemons are grown again in most of the gardens.

 

  • Use of nuts and seeds– Ground pastes of cashews, almonds, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, coconut etc provide good fats and are widely used for thickening and as the base for cooking.

 

Most of the Indian dishes are easy to cook and if these concepts are continued to be used, then Indians can continue to eat and stay healthy if moderates amount of exercise is added.

Health benefits of Sesame seeds

Health benefits of Sesame seeds

Sesame seeds have been commonly used in the Indian cuisine. They are small nutty seeds and are hardly visible in the various dishes they are added to. It is said to be one of the oldest condiment known to man. It is known as ’til’ in India. Lets have a look at its health benefits.

  • It is said to contain the mineral copper which helps to prevent and provide relief from arthritis and strengthens our bones, joints and blood vessels.
  • It contains magnesium which lowers blood pressure, alleviates asthma and prevents migraine.
  • Calcium content in sesame seeds helps to biuld bones and prevents migraine too.
  • Zinc content helps to improve bone health and is great for skin.
  • It contains monounsaturated fats and vitamin E which helps to maintain heart health.
  • It contains phytosterols which helps to lower cholesterol and prevent cancers.
  • Sesame butter can help to replace the cholesterol rich butter.
  • It is rich in fiber mainly due to the presence of the compounds sesamin and sesamolin which increases the vitamin E content when added to food, helps to lower cholesterol and protects the liver from oxidative damage.

You can add sesame seeds to your morning porridge, add it to a glass of warm milk, toss it in a salad or sprinkle over breads while baking. Now you can say open sesame to health.