Where was flaxseed (alsi seeds) ten years ago? Relegated to a dusty corner in a kirana shop with no takers.
Cut to now: it has made a comeback in a brand new avatar and is being sold fancily packaged by every health food brand worth its salt.
All because omega 3 it is rich in is now considered a panacea for all modern day ailments. Now its time to meet and eat some more indigenous superfoods that are greta for us.
Below is a list of 7 lesser known superfoods that you must meet and begin eating this year to give your health a boost, and to rein in the big health problems that seem to be spiralling out of control.
The good news is that they are all local grown so you won’t have to pay through your nose to buy them.
Banana Pepper (Banana Chilly)
Their more popular cousin is Jalapenos, which are loved for their tangy, hot taste.
Banana pepper (used extensively down south) is a little less spicy but equally delicious. It’s a great sources of vitamin C and A, and is loaded with antioxidants.
Plus the fat in banana peppers is polyunsaturated fat, the healthy fat that contributes to production of heart-friendly HDL cholesterol.
Jamun (The Indian Blackberry)
Jamun (and phalsa) are very adept in reducing blood sugars, besides aiding in digestion, and are liver protective, anti-cancer and blood purifying. Phalsa in addition is a great cooling agent too.
Red Amaranth (Leaves)
Amaranth leaves have double the vitamin A that the more popular red cabbage.
Plus they are loaded with calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium too, while being low in calories.
And they have the same lovely red colour people love the red cabbage for!
Kerala Red Rice
Kerala rice is rich in B vitamins and minerals (iron, calcium and zinc) and trace minerals like manganese and molybedenum (very difficult to find trace mineral).
It is also loaded with antioxidants, and has a special antioxidant pigments called anthocyanins, which help reduce inflammation, provides relief from allergy, aids in cancer prevention and delivers weight loss.
Also called amaranth, this is a rather underrated grain that is extremely high fibre (7gm/100 gm), and delivers more protein (6-7 gm/100 gm) than most other grains protein, and also has high calcium, potassium and iron besides a lot of vitamin E and magnesium.
Bee pollen, food of the young bee is approximately 40% protein and most of it is highly assimilable in the form of free amino acids that are ready to be used directly by the body.
Besides protein it also contains nearly all nutrients required by humans and is considered as the richest source of vitamins found in nature.
So go on begin piling your plates with these. Trust me it’ll pay big to get acquainted with them.
Pointed Gourd (Parwal)
Easy to digest, extremely low calories, fibre rich parwal is a wonder vegetable that hasn’t got it’s due.
In fact not many people know (and eat) this gourd. Time to remedy that as it is loaded with antioxidants, helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels naturally and is great for our skin too (helps purify blood). It also delivers vitamin A and C.
(Kavita Devgan is a nutritionist, weight management consultant, and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of The Don't Diet Plan: A no-nonsense guide to weight loss, Fix it with Food, Ultimate Grandmother Hacks, and Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People.)