A vegetarian healthy Indian food can be nutritionally superior to any other way of eating because plant foods are loaded with nutrients required to stay healthy. A proven review from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reveals that a vegetarian, healthy Indian food is associated with a lower risk of death from many health ailments.
Vegetarians usually have a lower level of low-density cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure which means that they are far from the risk of being prone to Type 2 diabetes and also they are less susceptible to cancer and chronic diseases due to optimum fibre consumption and the inclusion of essential health nutrients such as Vitamin C, E, folic acid, potassium, magnesium and many more.
Here are some of the benefits of being a vegetarian you must know:
- High fibre foods such as fruits and vegetables help in the proper digestion of food and improving body metabolism.
- Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and are loaded with antioxidants that aids a disease-free body and healthier skin. Consuming them in requisite amounts reduces the toxin levels and chemical build up in the human body, thus promoting a healthy and longer lifespan.
- Opting for a vegan diet or vegetarian is a wise choice for minimising the chances of having a stroke or avoid obesity.
- Researches have shown that vegans have relatively lower depression as vegetarian foods cleanse our body and keep the thoughts positive.
Healthy Indian food imbibes the rich cultural heritage followed from years. The food and the same taste from various Indian states are hard to find in any other country and that is what makes the Indian food special.
For introducing you to the rich Indian foods and how they directly or indirectly influence your health, we have tried to list down twenty vegetarian healthy Indian food in their respective categories below that are scrumptious, filling, and offers a healthy lifestyle too. All these foods, when taken with a combination of one or two, make a healthy Indian Thali.
Keep reading and enjoy every bite of it!
1. Toor Dal or Arhar Dal
Low calorie and lesser amounts of fat per serving is something that makes toor dal healthy Indian food. It is rich in protein, fibre, and carbohydrates that meet your daily requirements of calcium and iron in the body. Pregnant women are especially advised to consume Arhar dal regularly as it is good for fetal growth. Having a low glycemic index, arhar dal is a must included part of a diabetic’s diet plan too.
2. Brown Rice
Brown rice is known to have a low glycemic index. It is a boon for weight watchers as they can enjoy the rice servings without having to worry much about weight gain.
Dhaliya is known to be the comfort food during sickness as it helps in easy and fast digestion. It is a very light and healthy Indian food that is full of fibre, low in calories, rich in protein with a low glycemic index. All these factors are helpful in weight loss which is why a bowlful of dhaliya is the topmost choice for breakfast, but some people even prefer it for dinner.
4. Pearl Millet or Bajra
Bajra or pearl millet is a wholesome Indian food eaten in the form of Roti (also Bhakri) or as khichdi (also Bajra khichdi) which basically have originated from the state of Rajasthan. It is abundant in iron, protein, and fibre that keeps health disorders such as anemia at bay and also flushes out harmful toxins from the body.
Sattu, healthy Indian food prepared from roasted gram and other nutritious flour like wheat and barley which is considered as a staple food in many states of India. Sattu is a stomach-friendly food containing essential nutrients such as iron, fibre, and salt that are helpful in curing stomach related problems like improving bowel movement and increasing appetite. Sattu drink has detoxifying properties that encourage weight loss.
Legumes: Low-fat plant-based foods for better body functioning.
Sprouts salad is all the way beneficial for good health and when sprinkled with lemon makes it tasty too. They are packed with vitamins, proteins, fiber, and minerals which make them super healthy. Being a low-calorie food, sprouts can be a nutritional supplement to your daily meals, enhancing the nutritional value of the legumes.
Rajma belongs to the family of legumes and is a low calorie and high protein healthy Indian food. You can consume it in the form of a curry known as Rajma Curry which when consumed with rice increases its nutritional value and tastes delicious. ‘Rajma Chawal’ is always among the favourites in the food list of every Indian and everybody loves it!
8. Chickpeas or Chole
A legume family member with an ample source of vitamins, fibre, and minerals, chole offers many health benefits for the body. It improves digestion and helps in reducing health risks. Moreover, the protein content is higher, hence people targeting to lose weight usually prefer Chole as protein keeps you full for longer. They also have a low Glycemic Index (GI) that regulates blood sugar levels.
Milk Derivatives: Products derived from fermenting milk that adds up to the fullness of the body.
The most popular, easily available, and economical probiotic, when talking about the most healthy Indian food, curd always tops the list. Probiotic in the form of a healthy bacteria assists digestion and is known to be beneficial for teeth and bones due to its high calcium content obtained during the fermentation of milk.
The liquid leftover after churning the butter from milk is known as buttermilk; having fewer calories and fat per serving that makes it an excellent daily drink. It contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals, included in the family of probiotics that support digestion and irritable bowel syndrome.
11. Cottage Cheese or Paneer
Indian cuisines without a dash of paneer are unimaginable. Paneer is a healthful food that is a part of many recipes and when eaten raw with black pepper is palatable. It is one of the highest vegetarian sources of protein, enriched with the desired calcium for healthy bones, teeth, and heart muscles.
Cooked Delicacies: Healthy and tasty dishes that are lip-smacking and finger-licking!
12. Aloo Gobi Or Potato Cauliflower Dry Curry
Being a delightful and oil-free supplement, aloo Gobi is full of healthy nutrients like carbohydrates, fibre and protein and low in fat, and utterly satisfying meal add-on. When taken with the staple food, it provides vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Preparing it is simple and requires lesser ingredients; it gets cooked in minutes and your healthy meal is ready!
13. Spinach or Palak
Vitamin K rich food, spinach when consumed with salads, or as a vegetarian dish such as palak paneer is known to be a superfood. It is one of the richest sources of iron that helps to fight anemia. Green leaves/vegetables possess higher levels of healthy nutrients. Palak can also be taken in the form of soup (palak soup).
Idli batter is made with the combination of rice and dal and is fermented before use. The process enhances the vitamin B content in the food and also increases the bioavailability of proteins. The batter, when steamed produces soft and fluffy idlis that are a rich source of proteins and carbohydrates. It is one of the most common meals for breakfast, a blessing from the states of the South.
A highly nutritious and most loved Punjabi dish, parathas have always been a preferred choice of Indians and can be prepared in many forms with whole wheat flour and vegetable stuffing. It is appetising and nourishing. Some people also opt for parathas with green veggies such as methi or palak to enhance its nutritional value.
Originated from Gujarat, loved by every Indian state, Dhokla is the favourite in the list of almost every foodie. Made with gram flour, it is a low glycemic index food. As it is steamed, it favours the weight watchers. Tempted with fermenting and steamed with aroma, dhokla is a tasty Indian snack.
A combination of Dal cooked with vegetables makes Sambar a healthy Indian food. Mostly eaten in the southern states and liked by every Indian, sambar is usually an accompaniment with idlis or dosas. It is also consumed with rice. What can be more enchanting when you get nutrition loaded in a pack of food that is flavoursome too!
A regional speciality of Gujarat, Undhiyu is one of the scrumptious preparations of pot vegetables. Cooked with fenugreek in an aromatic blend of spices, it requires very less oil but needs a lot of patience. Undhiyu provides sufficient protein and rich carbohydrates which is filling. It is a perk for diabetics when enjoyed in moderation.
19. Ladies Finger or Okra
Ladies finger is a healthy Indian food as it consists of different vital nutrients with plentiful vitamin C and fibre accounting for controlling blood sugar levels. Hence, health professionals strongly recommend this healthy Indian food for diabetic patients. Ladies finger goes well with chapati.
20. Brinjal Curry or Baingan ka bharta
Skinned brinjals roasted at a high flame makes baingan ka bharta an exotic food. Brinjal is a rich source of iron and is advised for anemia. Added to this, its richness in vitamins, minerals, and calcium makes it a popular option for improving heart, and bone health, brain function, and preventing cancer too. When eaten with Rotis, it is a perfect evening meal!
The month of October is celebrated as the Vegetarian Awareness month to help us realise the importance of ingesting plant-based foods and keeping meat away. Researches show that plant-based diets can help to boost your energy levels and prevent chronic diseases. Healthy Indian food in the contemporary world holds a place of importance and is an inextricable part of Indian culture!
So, ready to ‘Go Vegetarian’ and stay hale and healthy?