Top 5 Desi Super Foods

Top 5 Desi Super Foods

The term ‘super food’ has gained a lot of attention recently thanks to a lot of health and nutrition companies marketing it to us. What really differentiates a regular food from a super food? Is daal chawal super food? Does ‘super food’ need to be exotic and found in the furthest of land and deepest of seas or does your kitchen already have ‘super foods’ that you are not already aware about.

The term ‘super food’ was first used in 1949 by a Canadian newspaper marketing a certain muffin that was supposedly nutritionally dense. To be honest, the term 'super food' holds no significance in the nutritional and Diatec community. No particular food will have all the macro and micro nutrients required for the human body in the exact proportion for optimal health. However, we can easily underestimate the nutritional density of certain foods.

The list below is 5 food items that are packed with nutrients that would put you in good health at all times – also help you say bye to those vitamin pills.

Gooseberries (Amla)

You probably have heard me talking about berries being high in anti-oxidant and great to boost immunity several times. But if you are not a great fan of frozen fruits and do not find fresh berries where you live, you don’t have to feel like you are missing out on something. Amla (Indian gooseberry) has 100 times more anti-oxidants by weight than berries! Yes you heard that right, 100 times!

Multiple studies have also proven Amla to be highly effective in helping bring cholesterol down and managing blood sugar levels in patients with type two diabetes. Having as little as ½ teaspoon of powdered Amla or squeezed juice of two Amlas every morning for a period of 3 weeks is enough to show it's effect. I like to boil two Amlas every morning for 8- 10 minutes and have them whole with some sea salt first thing in the morning or one hour after breakfast.

Turmeric (Haldi)

Haldi has been used for centuries now, traditionally for multiple reasons. If you think of your grandmother’s solution for fixing more things, whether it was skin issues or digestive disorders it was ‘haldi lagalo’. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory in nature and inflammation is the root cause to several auto-immune diseases. Over-the-counter anti inflammation pills lead to several side effects such as internal bleeding and ulcers. Turmeric is a safer and frankly much healthier alternative.

I would avoid depending on the turmeric we get from out curries because the amount is so small and curries are mostly over cooked exposing nutrients we are getting to too much heat. Instead have a teaspoon in the morning with mixed with alma juice or ginger water. Suggested dosage is 2-3 teaspoons per day.

Lotus Seeds (Makhana)

Depending on the spices you dry roast Makhana with, these could be your secret fat-loss tool. Makhana makes for great snacks and is loaded with fibre, low GI carbs and some amount of proteins too. The reason they are considered ‘super food’ is because of the wide variety of nutritional content they contain. Right from magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorous, to B vitamins, healthy carbs and proteins, Lotus Seeds have it all. Adding a handful of these as snacks to your meal plan will help you keep the craving to eat junk at bay and also get you feeling fuller for longer.


Our traditional Ayurveda medicines have been using Shatavari for centuries now for a range of fertility and female reproductive related issues. It is said to be the queen of herbs and has several proven health benefits. Given the stressful environment we live in, Shatavari also helps stabilize human hormonal levels and prevent PCOS. However, taking in excess may have a diuretic effect on the system.

I suggest adding 3/4th of a tbsp. of Shatavari powder to your daily smoothie or juice. Exact daily requirement may vary and it is best to consult your physician for the same.

Fennel seeds (Saunf)

Technically not seeds, they are little fruits! In the Mediterranean region, these were popularly used to reduce menstrual cramps. In an extensive study comparing fennel seeds to ibuprofen to reduce menstrual cramps, women reported feeling just as pain free after taking fennel seed extract vs. the drug minus the side effects including kidney toxicity that comes in from taking over the counter medicines.

However, reduction of menstrual pain is not the only reason fennel seeds gain spotlight as being a super food, they have many other benefits. It is popularly eaten post meals because it helps in digestion, reduce heartburns and also minimize bloating. It also helps in respiratory health by reducing bronchitis and congestion. I suggest keeping this at your office or car and having a few seeds every few hours spread across the day.

Leave a comment below with things that you think deserved to make it to the above list. Also let us know what you would like us to write about.

Author: Roshni Sanhvi

Roshni Sanghvi, a vegan fitness expert who shows us how to lead a healthy disease-free life by giving up animal protein. Visit to get in touch with me for more information.

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