The Health Benefits of Indian Food

Indian food includes the most dazzling array of fresh vegetables, fruits and spices that are cooked in ways that help retain freshness and nutrients. Traditionally, Indian cooking uses fresh ingredients and involves making recipes from scratch. Here at Bhelwala we strive to retain these traditions by only using the freshest ingredients we can find and preparing most of our menu from scratch each day. Because of these cooking techniques it means less preservatives and healthier food. Here are some health benefits associated with Indian spices and vegetables.

Everybody needs a little spice in their life! What are spices and does that mean Indian food is spicy? Of Course not!

It means Indian food is flavorful. For Centuries, Indian cooks have been using spices for flavor.  Along with taste and flavor, these spices make Indian food good for health too.  Most Indian spices have some health benefits or medicinal properties. Some health benefits are pretty pronounced and can be observed relatively quickly.  At other times the benefits are subtle and may take some time to be noticed.

Cardamom

cardamom

Health Benefits:

  • Counteracts heart burn
  • Stimulates appetite
  • Eases nausea
  • Relieves gas and bloating
  • Helps bad breath
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory

Fun Fact

Green Cardamom is the world’s third-most expensive spice, surpassed in price per weight only by saffron and vanilla.

Cinnamon

cinnamon

Health Benefits:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Eases digestion
  • Reduces sugar and cholesterol levels
  • Stimulates blood flow
  • Rich in antioxidants

Fun Fact

Cinnamon also has the reputation of being an aphrodisiac.

Cloves

cloves

Health Benefits:

  • Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Relieves upper respiratory infections
  • Improves digestion

Fun Fact

Clove oil is widely used to treat toothaches.

Coriander Seeds

coriander-seeds

Health Benefits:

  • Anti-bacterial properties
  • Soothes the stomach
  • Relieves bloating
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Aids in digestion
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Relieves oxidative stress in diabetes patients
  • Good source of vitamin C

Fun Fact

India is one of the world’s main producers of coriander, a spice that has been in use for at least 7,000 years, according to “The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods.”

Cumin Seeds

cumin-seeds

Health Benefits:

  • Diuretic
  • Relieves diarrhea and bowel spasms
  • Relieves morning sickness
  • Eases carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Anti-oxidant

Fun Fact

One tablespoon of these aromatic seeds fulfills 22 percent of your daily requirement for iron, a mineral that helps keep your energy level high and your immune system in flu-fighting shape.

Fenugreek

Fenugreek

Health Benefits:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Aids in digestion
  • Helps reduce cholesterol
  • Helps with acid reflux
  • Helps with lactation in breast feeding mothers

Fun Fact

Fenugreek is used in the manufacture of cosmetics and soaps by some companies.

Ginger

ginger

Health Benefits:

  • Relieves nausea related to morning & motion sickness
  • Anti-inflammatory helps relieve muscle and joint pain
  • Used to cleanse and detoxify the body
  • Can help reduce cholesterol levels
  • Can help improve brain function

Fun Fact

Adding crushed ginger to tea while steeping it is a common practice in India and is often used as household remedy for throat pain and cough due to common cold. Ginger is also considered an aphrodisiac.

Turmeric

turmeric

Health Benefits:

  • Anti-oxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Helps relieve arthritis pain
  • Curcumin boosts levels of the brain hormone BDNF, which increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in the brain
  • Helps lower risk of heart disease

Fun Fact

Modern scientists, however, are interested in the benefits of curcumin, the active agent in turmeric, as a powerful antioxidant. The American Cancer Society notes that a number of studies have found curcumin kills cancer cells in vitro and reduces the size of tumors in animals.

Chili Pepper

chili-pepper

Health Benefits:

  • Disease preventing and health promoting properties
  • Helps control heart rate and blood pressure
  • High levels of vitamins A, B and C

Fun Fact

Chili peppers, despite their fiery “hotness”, are one of very popular spices known for their medicinal and health benefiting properties. India is the world’s largest producer, consumer and exporter of chili peppers

Okra (Bhindi)

okra

Health Benefits:

  • Prevents diabetes
  • Promotes colon health and colon cancer
  • Boosts digestive health
  • Weight management
  • Promotes a healthy pregnancy
  • Maintains healthy skin
  • Relieves respiratory issues like asthma, cough or trouble breathing
  • Boosts mood
  • Helps with constipation

Fun Fact

Okra is a nutritional powerhouse used throughout history for both medicinal and culinary purposes. This pod-producing, tropical vegetable dates back over 3500 years ago.

Garbanzo Bean

garbanzo-bean

Health Benefits:

  • Prevents diabetes
  • Promotes colon health and colon cancer
  • Boosts digestive health
  • Weight management
  • Promotes a healthy pregnancy
  • Maintains healthy skin
  • Relieves respiratory issues like asthma, cough or trouble breathing
  • Boosts mood
  • Helps with constipation

Fun Fact

Today, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Ethiopia, and Mexico are the highest producers, as well as some of the largest consumers, of garbanzo beans