HEALTH BENEFITS OF SOME COMMON SOUTH INDIAN FOOD
South Indian cuisine follows a balanced diet plan in which all the essential nutrients such as carbohydrate, protein, fat, mineral salt and vitamins are consumed in appropriate quantities. The most common South Indian food varieties provide requisite energy for the day to day activities, and help in the normal functioning of essential body systems that include digestive, excretory and circulatory systems. Let us look at the health benefits of five common South Indian foods.
Idlis are a great source of proteins and carbohydrates. The fermentation produces riboflavin and thiamine that play a key role in nerve, muscle, and heart function. Idlis are steam cooked which make them fat free and easily digestible. Black gram dal, one of the essential ingredients that go into making idlis is also an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin B complex, iron, copper, calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus which offers a myriad of healing health benefits.
Sambar is made of split pigeon peas which are rich in protein, fibre and minerals but low in fat content. Proteins are required for muscle growth and repair, and weight loss too. Sambar includes a variety of vegetables like drumsticks, pumpkin, brinjal, okra, tomatoes which are full of fibre, essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. High fiber foods are good for heart and cholesterol. Tamarind extract, turmeric, curry leaves, and mustard seeds aid in digestion, and provide high immunity.
Dosas are made from fermented lentil and rice batter similar to idlis, but may be high in fat content depending on the kind of oil used to make it. However, it contains all essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals for the proper functioning of the body. By adding carrots, spinach, tofu, low-fat paneer, and oats in the batter, one can make healthier dosas. It can also be enjoyed with healthy stuffings inside it. Dosa is considered safe for gluten intolerant people.
Rasam is made using tamarind juice, pepper, tomato, cumin and other spices. The tamarind is rich in antioxidants that helps keep the skin young and supple. The tomato is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C which further enhances skin health. The use of black pepper helps secretion of acids that aid digestion. It also prevents formation of gas, and flatulence.
Idiyappam is a traditional food consisting of ragi, rice or wheat flour, pressed into noodle form and then steamed. Ragi idiyappam is made of ragi or finger millet and it has unlimited health benefits. Being densely packed with a host of nutrients, ragi enhances digestion, reduces the risk of heart disease, slows down ageing and manages diabetes. The grain is gluten free too, and helps in weight loss.
Amma’s South Indian Cuisine offers authentic South Indian fare that greatly benefits your health. Visit us and get pampered with healthy food.