This Holi, Reach For These Colourful Foods to Boost Your Health

Colour yourself healthy this holi with these natural, versatile, and nutrition laden foods.

6 min read
This Holi, Reach For These Colourful Foods to Boost Your Health

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Holi is a festival of colours that everyone looks forward to for the fun and bonhomie it depicts, but even more for the delicious sweets and drinks that come in its wake.

"Almost all Holi delicacies are high calorie mines that add sugar and salt both by the tons to our diets."

While one must definitely indulge in gujiya’s namkeens, Mathis, gud pare, namak pare, thandai, puran poll, Malpua, murukku, bhang pakoras, matar kachori, gulgule (the list goes on and on and on), my advice would be to make a pact to begin eating a colourful diet to mark this holi.

This, I believe is the easiest and most effective way to ensure wellbeing and to keep myriad diseases at bay. And what better time than during the festival of holi to reiterate the importance of this simple rule of rainbow eating.


Vibrant Red and Orange

Reach for red with pomegranate, carrots, and oranges.

(Photo: iStock)

  • EAT Pomegranate

This juicy fruit can prevent Alzheimer and even slow its onset and progression, thanks to the miracle antioxidant compound punicalagin (a polyphenol) in it. Add it to your salads, and yoghurt.

  • DRINK Carrot

The beta-carotene carrots are famous for not just keep our eyesight sharp, but are also equally effective in keeping our lungs clear of toxins too.

Kanji: Get hold of a large glass or ceramic jar with lid (or a matka).

Cut 4 big kaali gajars (500 gm) into 3 inches long pieces and put them in the matka, add 3 litres of water, 1/2 tsp red chilly, 1 tbsp black salt and 4 tbsp of powdered black rai (mustard seeds).

Cover the matka with a thin muslin cloth and keep it on a sunny windowsill or in a warm place for 3-4 days.

Stir with a spoon and taste the fermented pickling solution; it’s ready when it tastes sour/tangy.

Filter the dark purple coloured solution, adjust seasoning, fill it up in glass bottles and refrigerate for up to a month.

Eat the pickled carrots along with your meals.

  • MUNCH ON Orange

Antioxidant vitamin C in this juicy fruit will help throw the artery-clogging homocysteine out of your system.

Vitamin C also helps neutralize free radicals in the body, lower inflammation and boost the immunity.

Green Greats

Go green with leafy vegetables and chilies.

(Photo: iStock)

  • EAT Spinach

Contains thylakoids, which decrease cravings for unhealthy foods like sweets or fast food and thus increase weight loss.

  • EAT Green chilli

Capsaicin, the compound that gives the mouth-water-ing punch to chillies, helps lower inflammation, and keep our cholesterol numbers tamed.

Spinach, chilli raita: Boil spinach chop it fine with the kitchen scissors mix it in a bowl of thick yoghurt.

Temper with ½ tsp of mustard seeds and two green chillies in a spoon of oil. The taste is divine.

  • MUNCH ON Grapes

The component resveratrol in this juicy fruit helps inhibit the release of compounds that cause inflammation on the cell lining of the lungs and help keep the lungs fighting fit.

Purple Panaceas

Pick something purple with eggplant and beetroot.

(Photo: iStock)

  • EAT Eggplant

Junk food makes our gut acidic, and an acidic gut leads to most gastric diseases. Eggplant helps moderate the ph of our gut, makes our gastric system alkaline, and thus helps keep us healthy.

  • EAT Beetroot

It is rich in antioxidant betaine, which has anti-inflammatory properties and keeps cholesterol levels in control.

Chilled Beetroot: Chill boiled beetroots, diced into cubes. Mix orange juice, oil, salt, black pepper, mustard powder and orange zest in a bowl and whisk well.

Pour the dressing over the beetroot pieces and garnish with spring onion and mint. Serve chilled.

  • MUNCH ON blueberries

These berries are low in calories and high in nutrients.

In fact, they contain one of the highest antioxidant levels amongst fruits and vegetables.

Pure Whites

Power packed whites like cauliflower, peanuts, and bael.

(Photo: iStock)

  • EAT Cauliflower

It is loaded with diindolylmethane (DIM for short), a powerful functional nutrient that has a positive effect on our hormonal balance.

It helps rid the body of excess estrogen, and thus helps pre-vent depression, weight gain and chronic fatigue.

  • MUNCH ON Peanuts

These will get you your quota of good monounsaturated fats.

Plus, they also contain oleic acid, the healthful fat found in the much revered olive oil - at much lower cost.

  • DRINK Bael

It is cooling, refreshing, loaded with nutrients, and a perfect tonic to beat hot summers.

It also cuts inflammation and solves digestive worries.

Bael sherbet: Take one medium-sized Bael (Wood apple) and break it open; take the pulp in a bowl, add water and using your hands, remove all the seeds,and mix well.

Add powdered jaggery, stir well, add salt and jeera powder to taste. Mix it well, sieve it and serve chilled.

Yellow Wonders

Get your daily dose of yellow with daal.

(Photo: iStock)

  • EAT Moong dal

Yellow moong is not just a healthy way to start the day, it’s a perfect way to score on B complex vitamins, bene of easily digestible protein; plus it is a cooling food.

Kosambari (lentil chaat): Soak moong daal for around 1hr.

Discard the water and add grated carrot, chopped cucumber and tomato, and shredded coconut to it.

Add salt, lemon juice, and some chopped coriander leaves. Mix well. Heat oil and add mustard seeds.

When they start popping, add curry leaves, asafoetida and red chili broken into pieces.

Mix well and dig in. Pair with fresh juice or some coconut water. Also, add some finely chopped apple on top to get some fruit power.

  • MUNCH on Papaya

It helps arrest ageing. C, E, and carotenoids like beta-carotene and lycopene in papaya protect the skin against free radicals that lead to wrinkles and other visible signs of ageing.

  • SPRINKLE Turmeric

This spice contains more than two dozen anti-inflammatory compounds that help spice up our memory, and keep Alzheimer away.

Basic Browns

Bring back browns with spices like cinnamon and ginger.

(Photo: iStock)

  • EAT Sattu

Horse radish flour, made of powdered roasted chick peas, is a fabulous protein source and is an inherently cooling food, so great to stay cool from inside during the summer months. And yoghurt besides

protein and calcium, will also add some much-needed probiotics to your gut.

Sattu Roti: Take sattu flour. Mix in mustard oil, a grated onion, grated ginger, amchoor, salt and chili powder.

Mix well and shape into lemon sized balls. Roll a tomato sized ball of whole-wheat dough into a thin disc.

Place the sattu ball in the centre, gather the edges of the dough and pinch, sealing in the sattu.

Press gently into a thick disc and roll into a thin sheet. Cook both sides on a hot skillet. Have it with curd.

  • DRINK Ginger

It helps stamp out air pollutants out of the air passages before they have time to irritate the lungs. Sip ginger tea every day.

  • Sprinkle Cinnamon

Sprinkling just a pinch of cinnamon in your morn-ing cuppa can work wonders as this spice activates essential enzymes in the body, which stimulate the cells to respond more efficiently to insulin, and help prevent diabetes.

(Kavita is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico), Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kick-ass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa) and fix it with foods.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Holi Recipes   Fit Recipes   Holi 2022 

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