We love our desi food, but both our palate and body from time to time crave for something different and unusual.
So while it is advisable to stick to locally available, regular, and indigenous ingredients as a mainstay for everyday food preparation, simply because it is practical, wallet friendly, as well as good for our systems, experimenting sometimes with some exotic foods (availability and wallet permitting) can actually help whip up some excitement in our dulled palate, and get some fun back in eating.
The lesson here is that there’s no harm in trying out new foods as long as they are healthy and packed with nutrition. After all, eating a variety is one of the first and most important rules of eating tight.
Here are six non-desi super healthy foods that you can include in your diet.
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For Concentrated Nutrients: Matcha
There is no denying the health benefits of green leafy veggies but similar benefits and nutrients (and in a more concentrated form) can be gained from matcha.
It is one of my favorites for its high content of antioxidants and small amounts of caffeine.
Plus it delivers EGCG, a polyphenol that helps boost metabolism, which translates into better weight management, and has five times more l-theanine as compared to regular green tea (this compound induces relaxation without drowsiness).
It contains a lot of easily-absorbable dietary fiber, which helps stabilize blood sugar.
For Vitamin C: Kiwi
There is absolutely no denying the fact that amla is a vitamin C powerhouse. Another option that you can try is kiwi.
So snack on it regularly.
For Protein: Tempeh
While non vegetarians have enough options to get protein, vegetarians need to depend on lentils, dairy, paneer, and tofu. Another amazing option for them for quality and complete protein (all essential amino acids) is tempeh.
This is a traditional Indonesian food made from fermented soybeans and is a great plant based source of protein. It is great news for vegans and vegetarians because it is a good and very rare vegetarian source of vitamin B 12.
Plus it delivers fibre, iron, and calcium too. Include it in your diet and reap the benefits.
For Antioxidants: Cranberries
Fruits are always a good bet for scoring antioxidants, but cranberries too are loaded with antioxidants and most of the benefits associated with them come from there.
In fact these berries have the highest level of disease fighting polyphenols; grapes come a distant second. They deliver good amount of vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin E, all extremely effective antioxidants.
These antioxidants give our immunity a fighting chance against the myriad infections going round and are great for our digestive health too.
For Multiple Minerals: Macadamia Nuts
All nuts deliver a lot of goodies and the newest entrant in the Indian market, the macadamia nuts (yes, they are available here now) deliver multiple vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients along with good fats, making these superfoods an interesting addition to the diet. They are an excellent source of essential minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc.
For Good Fats: Avocado
Avocados are loaded with health-promoting MUFA (Mono unsaturated fatty acids, these are great for our heart), potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure, and even the elusive folate, which again is a wonderful heart health nutrient.
It also has other disease-fighting compounds such as lutein, beta- carotene, and vitamin E. There’s a lot packed in, besides its unusual nutty flavor.
By the way avocado oil with its healthy fats can help your body absorb more nutrients from fruits and veggies, and also has a very high smoke point, so it's great for high-heat cooking. Use it to sauté veggies or fish, use it in salad dressing.