Want To Try Indian food? Why Not Start Healthy?

Do you want to try more Indian food, but have heard there is too much oil? 

No worries!

Here are several dishes that come from the healthiest places in India -- where the people live the longest!

India is a vast country with a rich combination of different culture, languages, customs and food. Each of the states is highly influenced by the location, climate and culture.

East Indian food and spices

For instance, due to the rice cultivation, most of the traditional South Indian cuisine is incomplete without rice preparations, while the people in North India consider wheat as their staple diet due to the easy availability of wheat.

Because there is so much diversity within one country, it is interesting to consider which are the healthiest – then to look at the diet there.

For this article, let’s consider the Indian states most widely known for length of life and the overall health of citizens: Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Punjab

Food habits of people from Kerala and Tamil Nadu:

In Kerala and Tamil Nadu coconuts, coconut oil and rice are eaten regularly.

Here are the advantages of using coconut oil:

  • Coconut is a super food: It can protect your heart and improve blood cholesterol levels
  • Coconut oil helps with fat loss and prevents infections

No wonder people who consume coconut oil live healthier and longer!
Here are some of the benefits of eating rice:

  • Brown rice is a good source of fiber and slow-burning carbs
  • Brown rice is eaten with cured -- a healthy fermented milk product with bacteria that is good for both weight loss and digestion

South Indians also eat idli and dosas, which are made from fermented rice and dal. While idlis are steamed, dosas resemble pancakes.

What are the health benefits of eating idli-dosas?

  • Both are good source of carbohydrates and protein
  • They are low in calories, easy on the stomach and stave off hunger

Another mainstay of the diet in Kerala and Tamil Nadu is curry. Here are some of the reasons why curry is good for health:

  • Curry can help reduce weight and wash out fats and toxins from your body
  • It is believed that the curry leaves are the secret behind the long and shiny hair of south Indian women!

  • Curry Food

    Food habits that keep people healthy in Punjab:

The Punjabi diet is characterized by sarson ka saag. It is one of the healthiest recipes anywhere. Here is a sample of the benefits:

This dish is made using five different green, leafy vegetables -- like mustard, bathua (chenopodium), spinach, radish and methi (fenugreek)

  • It contains loads of antioxidants to keep you healthy and fit
  • It is eaten with makai ki roti (a flat bread) made using maize flour

The Punjabis also use varieties of healthy grains like dal, chhole and rajma on a daily basis, which are not only tasty but also a good source of proteins and fibers.

Dal is made using a dried pulse like lentil, pea or various types of bean which has been split in two. It is first soaked, then boiled and cooked with spices to add more flavor.

Why not eat the best and live the longest?

If you’ve been considering adding Indian dishes to your diet, why not begin with recipes from the healthiest parts of the country?

Do you have other suggestions? Please let me know!

Abel Cane focuses on health and environmental issues. Follow Abel on Twitter @boomalive.

Have you ever eaten Indian food? We would love to hear from you about your experience.

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