The food we eat has the ability to feed and nourish our body and at the same time, the wrong choice of food, can disrupt metabolic processes and trigger diseases as well. Therefore, it’s important to pick the right kind of food that would provide the right kind of nourishment. Blueberries, kale, avocados, collard greens, kohlrabi, acai berries are considered “superfoods” the world over with their high antioxidant and nutrient levels, and they are not only good for overall health, they help boost weight loss a great deal, but let’s admit, these superfoods are not easy to procure in India. However, the great thing is that we do have innumerable superfoods in India that do not get their due importance. These nutrient-dense food pack high levels of vitamins, protein, fiber, micronutrients, minerals, healthy fats, antioxidants – all within low calories. The good news is that Rati Beauty weight loss diets use these superfoods extensively in their diet programs. In this post, we list out 30 Inexpensive Indian Superfoods you Should be Eating Often for Weight Loss.
What is a Superfood?
Any food that comes packed with a lot of nutrients and are beneficial to the human body can be termed as a “superfood.” Superfoods come loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, etc., without increasing your calorie load or count.
How Superfoods Help with Weight Loss?
Superfoods are nutrient-dense food which carry a lot of weight-loss boosting benefits – from inflammation-reducing antioxidants, to appetite-suppressing fiber and protein, fat-burning omega-3 fatty acids, firing up the metabolism – most superfoods come loaded with these factors, and more – without adding too many calories.
30 Inexpensive Indian Superfoods you Should be Eating Often for Weight Loss:
1. Makhana: When you feel the need to snack on, look no further than makhana, which is the healthiest snack that you can find because they are extremely low in calories and have no saturated fat content, and at the same time, are a good source of magnesium, potassium, calcium, fiber, and protein.
2. Dalia/Bulgur Wheat: Dalia is extensively used all over India both in sweet and savoury forms, and it’s a good example of whole grain with complex carbs, protein, and fiber content.
3. Banana: People often push away bananas fearing they might cause weight gain, but with their potassium, protein, manganese are nutritious enough to be included in everyone’s diet, but moderation is the key, and one should stop at just one or two per day.
4. Foxtail Millet: Every kind of millet is an inexpensive superfood, but foxtail millet has protein, complex carbs, vitamin B12, zinc, magnesium, iron, calcium, and fiber among others.
5. Spinach: Spinach is extremely low in calories, a good source of vitamin A, C, calcium, and phytochemicals, thylakoids, all boosting weight loss greatly.
6. Ghee: Desi ghee has long been made the villain in weight loss circles, but desi ghee with its high omega-3 fatty acids, helps to mobilize fat molecules out of the fat cells to be used as energy. It also has vitamin A, E, and K. Clarified butter or ghee is gaining huge popularity the world over because of the amazing benefits it provides to the human body including increasing immunity, keeping digestive system on track, cleansing the liver. It is also a great food item if you want to lose weight because it boosts metabolism up to a great degree. Just two tsp each day is just about enough to reap all benefits that it claims.
7. Sunflower seeds: Here’s another snacking option which when taken in moderation can help one shed weight while providing ample nutrition. These seeds supply healthy fat, iron, vitamin E, phosphorous, protein, and essential fiber to the body.
8. Pumpkin Seeds: These seeds punch a lot of nutrients with healthy fats, protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, etc.
9. Coconut oil: The people in the west are turning towards coconut oil after realizing the amazing benefits it has on weight loss with its medium-chain fatty acids, it helps in the whole fat-burning process.
10. Sesame seeds: These tiny seeds provide ample nutrition because they are good source of copper, iron, zinc, vitamin E, and fiber. Looking at the nutritional value it offers, it cannot be ignored anymore. Just a handful of sesame seeds sprinkled over your salad or in your roti can help you lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It is also rich in calcium, protein, and B vitamins. With its rich antioxidant content, it is good to fight life-threatening diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
11. Curd: How can we forget to mention probiotics with regards to weight loss. Curd is a good source of good bacteria that improves gut health and also calcium, protein, yogurt
12. Ragi: Finger millet or ragi as it is popularly called, is a gluten-free grain with high calcium, vitamin D, protein, and amino acids like methionine and lysine.
13. Walnuts: It’s a really good source of healthy fats aka omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. Along with almonds, macadamia, pistachios, it is one of the healthiest nuts around.
14. Amaranth seeds/Rajgira: This is another gluten-free grain with a good amount of protein, fiber, iron and trace minerals like magnesium, phosphorous, calcium, selenium, vitamin B6, folate, etc.
15. Turmeric: This is an indispensable spice in Indian cuisine and has anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and weight-loss boosting properties. To ignore turmeric as a superfood, would amount to ignorance because turmeric is a superfood, hands down. It is a natural antiseptic, antibiotic, blood purifier, and helps with fat burning and metabolism. Sip on turmeric tea to prevent inflammation and lose weight effectively.
16. Sabja seeds: An Indian alternative to chia seeds, these seeds have rich fiber content and have omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and are extremely low in calories.
17. Sweet potato: If you haven’t included sweet potato in your diet yet, you should do right now because it is a good source of complex carbs, fiber, vitamins, and trace minerals.
18. Chole/chickpeas: Chickpeas or chole with their high protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates give your body a lot of nutrition. What’s more, they keep you full for longer so that you do not reach out for snacks often. Chickpeas are also cholesterol free, good source of vitamin B6, and folate along with micronutrients like potassium, calcium, and selenium. In one cup of chickpeas (125 gm), you get around 210 calories, fat 3.8 gm, complex carbs 35 gm, fiber 9.6, and protein of 10.7 gm. All this nutrition makes it a wholesome food, so don’t forget to include chickpeas quite a few times during the week.
19. Whole Grains: A good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, whole grains also contain several B vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. They have been shown to lower cholesterol and protect against heart disease and diabetes.
20. Eggs: Do we even need to go into details about the amazing benefits of eggs? In one egg, there are just about 75 calories with up to 7 gm of protein, 5 gm of fat, 1.6 gm of fat and a host of other minerals, vitamins, lutein, carotenoids, etc. If you are eating just two eggs each day, don’t skip on the egg yolk, they pack the most punch!
21. Lentils: Indian lentils like kidney beans, black beans, masoor dal, moong dal, toor dal are all high in protein and iron content. A cup of cooked dal help boost metabolism, controls diabetes, helps in optimal brain functioning, aids in weight management, and helps maintain optimal blood pressure.
22. Almonds: Consuming just 5 soaked almonds each day in the morning would provide you with a good amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, and protein. It is considered immensely good for brain health.
23. Sattu: We believe sattu or roasted gram flour has not received enough appreciation from health experts. It’s also called “poor man’s protein” in India because it is highly rich in protein and acts as a coolant too. It boosts metabolism and energy to the body without adding lots of calories.
24. Moringa: We cannot even begin to tell you how amazing moringa is for health and overall wellness. Powdered moringa is made from leaves of moringa tree and are rich in iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin E, vitamin A, chlorophyll content, vitamin C, etc. It stimulates hair growth, increases immunity, boosts metabolism, detoxifies the whole body, and is rich in antioxidants.
25. Beetroot: It is rich in antioxidants, iron, vitamins, and minerals and including beets in your salads and in juice form can be great for the skin too.
26. Moong dal: If you are looking for a good plant-based protein source, moong dal should be your pick. It also has trace minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and folate.
27. Jowar/Sorghum: Another gluten-free grain/flour which is high in fiber, protein, essential minerals like copper, zinc, phosphorous, and vitamins like B.
28. Amla: We all know amla is rich in vitamin C, but Indian gooseberry, as it is popularly called, has antioxidants like emblicanin, gallic acid, and also calcium and iron.
29. Garlic: It has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties and is a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium, fiber, and even copper.
30. Curry leaves: Used extensively in Indian cuisine, curry leaves cover the entire spectrum of nutrients with being a good source of iron, vitamin A, vitamin B, and also antioxidants.