Tired of having the usual green tea, nuts and oats to stay fit? Are you in the mood to experiment but don’t know which is the right superfood for you? Nutritionists tell Rinky Kumar about five lesser-known food items that help you lose the kilos and make you feel energetic all day long
Turn lightweight with Amaranch
Amaranch (better known as Rajgira in Hindi) is very high in proteins and has nine essential amino acids required by the human body.
Superfoods provide a variety of nutrients and play a key role in controlling health hazards
“Amaranch has iron, mineral and more calcium than milk,” says macrobiotic nutritionist Shonali Sabherwal. One might think that the easiest and tastiest way to have amaranch are Rajgira laddoos that are readily available in the market. But a word of caution. She says, “I wouldn’t recommend rajgira laddoos as they are made with jaggery. Though jaggery has more nutritive value than sugar it has quite a few calories.”
How to have it: Combine amaranch with jowar during the summer and with bajra during the winter and make chapattis. Combining amaranch with another grain increases its protein quotient.
Go green with kale
Though green leafy vegetables such as methi, palak and chowlie are staple items in Indian diet, fitness freaks are slowly experimenting with kale. It is not yet easily available with vegetable vendors. But Sabherwal says, “One can find it with vendors who stock speciality veggies. Kale is known as the queen of greens as it is loaded with iron, anti-oxidants, flavonoids and Vitamin C. It prevents pre-radical damage and has zero fat content. One cup of kale just has 36 calories.”
How to have it: Combine with other vegetables for a healthy juice. You can also make it as a sabzi or make theplas with it.
Get happy with pomegranate
Pomegranate is the only fruit that possesses the compound punicalagins that protects the heart and blood vessels and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. “It also has anti-oxidant properties and has serotonin that makes you happy and estrogen that helps the nervous system,” says Sabherwal.
How to have it: Have it as a fruit alone or make a salad with it.
Krupa Mhatre, a nutritionist from Gold’s Gym, Lower Parel, says that including chia in our daily diet is a good option as it contains soluble and insoluble fibres, which aid digestion. “Chia seeds reduce high blood pressure. It contains five times more calcium than milk. It is also rich in calcium, manganese and phosphorus that help in maintaining bone and oral health, and prevent osteoporosis,” she adds. Since it has eight times more Omega3 than salmon, it is a good option for vegetarians.
How to have it: You can soak chia seeds in a glass of water and then have it, but this might taste bland. Another option is to add it in faloodas and other desserts.
Gorge on grapefruit
Grapefruit works wonders for your skin and body. Mhatre says, “It prevents arthritis and helps dissolve gallstones. It is loaded with retinol that makes your skin soft.” As it has high water content, it helps you shed kilos. Mhatre, however, warns that people with high blood pressure should refrain from eating grapefruit as it might have a negative reaction.
How to have it: You can have it alone as a fruit or add it to salads.