You are what you eat! The secret to good health often lies in one’s reach — in one’s own kitchen, if only one remembers to look. From nutrient-dense and healthy lentils and flours to natural alternatives to calorie-heavy processed foods, kitchen shelves are full of ingredients that are both healthy and delicious if whipped up the correct way.
Here are some foods suggested by Jyothi Sri Pappu, CEO and Founder of Nutreat Life that help you boost your physical and mental health if consumed regularly.
A staple in south Indian households, ragi is not only high in protein but is also packed with nutrients like vitamins C, B-Complex, and E, iron and calcium, making it good for your hair and skin. Ragi is a wonderful breakfast food that also helps relax nerves and induce sleep naturally.
The best part? Ragi is a versatile ingredient that can not only be part of many recipes but can be prepared for babies to adults alike, whether in the form of baby cereal, piping hot porridge, or yummy pancakes.
A great alternative to empty-calories sweeteners like sugar, jaggery, or gur is high on nutritional value, containing within itself a fair amount of antioxidants and minerals. Jaggery is an ingredient that can be eaten raw, or put in meals to improve its flavour. Along with boosting immunity, jaggery has great purification properties for your entire body, especially the liver and blood.
Another food that is great for diabetics, along with jaggery, is the date fruit. This precious brown dry fruit contains loads and loads of nutrients, including potassium and antioxidants like flavonoids, carotenoids and phenolic acid.
High in fibre and easy to add to dishes, dates are also great for brain health. As per research, a diet rich in date palm fruits improves memory, learning and reduces the risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Dates and jaggery instant mixes can be added in place of sugar in dishes and beverages to sweeten them, minus the health disadvantages of sugar.
Another traditionally available superfood is coconut, which is full of nutrients, whether one has coconut water, raw coconut, milk or even its oil! From manganese to magnesium, copper and potassium, consuming coconut can help you increase the intake of the micronutrients each day.
Sipping coconut water could also have the same effect as an activity designed to reduce anxiety, and research shows that coconut water may have an antidepressant effect.
Add them to your desserts, or have a handful of them after soaking in water, nuts are wonder foods that are proven to be transformative for both physical and mental health. Along with improving brain function, almonds and walnuts are energy-boosting foods that are a great snacking option in between meals.
Pistachios, similarly, improve function in the brain and eyes and are a blessing for hair and skin health. Peanuts, too, make for a great snacking option and a nutrition powerhouse as well with 17 grams of protein in every half a cup (73 grams).