Humans are becoming more aware of what they consume and how it affects them as the world becomes more health-conscious. The food we eat has a direct impact on our mental and physical health. Some bite-sized foods provide concentrated doses of vitamins and minerals, while others aid in digestion and absorption. Every food contains some inherent goodness, but some deliver it in large quantities. They contain so many nutrients that they almost act as a supplement. But, of course, far superior. Many of these superfoods are often so underappreciated that their benefits are not widely known. It's time to make a change.
Check out these underrated items:
Fortified salt: Stopping your salt intake abruptly in one's diet unless indicated by your doctor is a bad idea. Instead one can switch to salt that is fortified with the right compounds like the much-needed zinc makes more sense. This can help contribute to overall immunity in our body. Zinc also helps with faster healing of wounds and fighting respiratory infections.
Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds have a delicious nutty flavor and are packed with carotenoids, which help skyrocket your immunity and keep your eyes super healthy. Plus these underrated seeds help enhance our memory, critical thinking, and general cognition.
Fox nuts: These are a good source of protein and fiber, they are moderately high in calories (50 grams will give you 175 calories) but since they are a low GI (glycemic index) food, they get digested slowly in the body. These are gluten-free and so great for those who are gluten intolerant and also pack in a lot of anti-aging antioxidants.
Peanuts: There is no doubt that peanuts are a cheap source of good-quality protein. Thirty grams give you about 160 calories and seven grams of protein, comparable to almonds which deliver the same amount of calories and six grams of protein. And peanuts offer the best bang for the buck. By the way, peanuts are rich in resveratrol to help in reducing the risk of cancer and delay aging too.
Singhara: The first benefit of singhara (water chestnuts) is that they are fat, cholesterol, and gluten-free, and have very low sodium and calories and a decent amount of fiber too. Plus they are an excellent source of potassium, a mineral that helps bust water retention and lower blood pressure by balancing sodium. They also deliver bone-strengthening calcium and other minerals like iodine and manganese (which help in maintaining the proper functioning of the thyroid gland) and copper, zinc, vitamin B, and vitamin E, all of which are extremely essential for us to stay healthy.
Sattu: Sattu (roasted gram flour) provides instant energy, and is a brilliant source of vegetarian good quality protein (100 grams delivers close to 20 grams of protein). Has a lot of fiber (close to 22 grams), most of which is insoluble fiber, which is great for our gut and helps cleanse out the stomach and detox the body. It is a wonder food for those who are suffering from gas, acidity, and constipation too.
Amla: Vitamin C is our best bet to boost immunity and keep flu, cold, and a myriad of other viruses at bay. And Amla (Indian berry) is the most concentrated plant source of Vitamin C. This makes it a potent antioxidant food and a great immunity booster, besides helping improve absorption of iron and calcium from food. Amla also packs in a trace mineral chromium that has a therapeutic value for diabetics as it helps in boosting the secretion of insulin and thus keeps fasting blood sugar levels in check and is a liver detoxer too.
(Kavita Devgan, Nutritionist, Tata Salt Immuno) (AA/IANS)