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Aloo Moongfali Sabji (Potato Peanut Sabji)

Potatoes are a versatile root vegetable and a staple food in many households and are packed with a variety of nutrients. Most of the nutrients are just below the skin so they’re better if cooked and consumed with the skin. Keeping the skin on ensures you receive the maximum amount of nutrients from the potato. Potatoes are rich in compounds like flavonoids, carotenoids and phenolic acids, which are antioxidants and help to neutralize potentially harmful molecules known as free radicals. When free radicals accumulate, they can increase the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Colored potatoes like purple potatoes (not very common in India) can have three to four times more antioxidants than white potatoes. However, potatoes when fried or cooked with a lot of oil are pretty unhealthy, so it’s best to avoid French fries or fried potato dishes.

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Alsi ki Chutney (Flaxseed Chutney)

Flax seeds are tiny powerhouses of nutrition well known for their high content of omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) , an essential fatty acid which means that your body cannot produce it, and so you need to obtain it from the food you eat. It is important to grind the seeds before eating them as the oil is locked up inside the fibrous structure of the seed and it cannot be released when eaten whole.

Flax seeds also have high amounts of protein as well as soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels. It also promotes digestive health by feeding your beneficial gut bacteria. When mixed with water this soluble fiber becomes very thick and combined with the insoluble fiber content, flax seeds become a natural laxative, promoting good bowel movement, preventing constipation, and reducing your risk of diabetes. It’s recommended to drink plenty of water when eating these seeds because of their high fiber content. For people who are not used to eating a lot of fiber, incorporating flax seeds too quickly can cause mild digestive problems. These include bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and nausea. Chutneys are a great way to avoiding these problems as they are eaten along with a lot of other vegetables and pulses in our traditional Indian meals.

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Ansa Phansachi Bhaji

Fruits are a great source of energy and nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Additionally, fruits supply dietary fiber, which may help lower the incidence of cardiovascular disease and reduce unnecessary weight gain. Fruits are a source of phytochemicals that function as antioxidants, phytoestrogens, and anti-inflammatory agents and support protective mechanisms for the body. Coconut is a great source of natural fats and lots of fiber. Cooking fruits, or vegetables for that matter, causes the loss of a great amount of water-soluble vitamins, and the longer a food is cooked, the greater the loss of nutrients. Raw foods are more nutritious than cooked foods because enzymes are also destroyed in the cooking process. Enzymes are heat sensitive and deactivate easily when exposed to high temperatures. So, it’s best to eat fruit uncooked and in its natural form, but we can always enjoy a traditional food once in a while.

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Raw Mango Kadhi

Raw mango is available for almost 5 to 7 months of the year and is a very versatile ingredient. It is used in preserves, chaats, chutneys, main dishes, and beverages. It is high in vitamin C, calcium, magnesium which is useful for releasing toxins from the body. Raw mangoes are also high in niacin, which helps boost cardiovascular health.

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Upma with Vegetables

Wheat has been used in various forms, especially ground roughly or fine for centuries. Some people find it difficult to digest wheat because of the gluten in it. Wheat is easier to digest when eaten with a lot of vegetables that contain the fibre. Wheat contains relatively high amounts of protein, dietary fiber, carbohydrates and minerals like calcium. It also contains micronutrients like magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and B vitamins. Wheat kernels have three parts: the bran (outer layer), the germ (core of the kernel), and the endosperm (starchy middle layer). White flour is made by removing the bran and the germ leaving only the endosperm which contains only protein, carbohydrates, and a small number of B vitamins and minerals. The bran and germ layers that are removed are rich in fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and minerals like iron, copper, zinc, and magnesium. Therefore, it is best to eat whole wheat than refined flour/maida as well as eat it with a lot of vegetables.

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Tomato Vada (Stuffed Tomatoes)

Tomatoes are a very versatile fruit and rich in vit C, vit K and folate. They are also rich in potassium that is beneficial for blood pressure control.
Sprouts are an excellent source of protein, fiber and vit C. The proteins and peptides in bean sprouts may also help reduce the risk of cancer by slowing the the growth of cancer cells. All in all, this dish is nutrient dense and delicious at the same time.

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Allum Chutney with Tomatoes (Ginger Tomato Chutney)

Tomatoes are a versatile ingredient and are rich in fiber and other nutrients like vit C and lycopene. Tomatoes grown with heritage seeds are tastier and more nutritious. In fact, the tastier the tomatoes, the more the nutrition. Tomatoes have an anti-inflammatory effect that protects muscles and may help athletes recover after exercise.

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Khamang Kakdi (Cucumber Peanut Salad)

Cucumbers are a great fruit to keep you hydrated because they are 95% water. So ‘eating’ your water is a great way to keep that thirst away. They are low in calories and rich in fiber so aid in digestion and help you stay regular and avoid constipation. The phytonutrients (plant chemicals) in cucumbers that are called lignans may help prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, and some cancers. The antioxidants such as beta carotene in cucumbers can help fight free radicals in your body, unpaired electrons that damage cells and generally lead to disease. They have small amounts of vitamin K and vitamin A that help blood clot and keep your bones healthy respectively. Vitamin A also enhances the function of vision, the immune system, and reproduction. It also makes sure organs like your heart, lungs, and kidneys work the way they should.

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Bharleli Foogi Mirchi (Stuffed Capsicum)

Commonly known as Shimla Mirch in India, capsicums or bell peppers are low in calories and exceptionally rich in vitamin C, which increases the absorption of iron from your gut. Eating raw bell peppers along with iron-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables may help increase your body’s iron stores, cutting your risk of anemia. They are also loaded with other antioxidants.

Sesame seeds are rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and are often added to provide a nutty flavor and crunchy texture. Sesame seeds contain lignans and phytosterols, which are plant compounds that can help lower cholesterol. Phytosterols are also believed to enhance your immune response and decrease your risk of certain cancers. The sesamin and sesamolin in sesame seeds are known for their antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Antioxidants are important to your health because they protect your body against various diseases by slowing down damage to cells. They’re also packed with copper, which helps make red blood cells. Sesame seeds are an excellent source of manganese and calcium, both of which help your bones grow healthy and strong.

Coconut can be eaten raw, dried, or as flour, is delicious and easy to incorporate into both sweet and savory dishes. Coconut meat contains large amounts of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), a type of saturated fat that is much easier for the human body to digest than animal fats. These fats, also called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), have been demonstrated to boost the endurance of trained athletes. Although coconuts are high in calories because of their fat content, they are also very high in fibre making sure you don’t consume too much by giving you a sense of fullness with very small amounts.

Besan (chickpea/ garbanzo bean flour) also known as gram flour has been a staple in Indian cooking for centuries. It is from the legume family and is lower in carbohydrates and calories but very rich in protein, iron, folate, and manganese apart from other vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. It is packed with fibre, is lower in calories than other flours and is very filling. It has a lower glycemic index thus preventing a spike in blood sugar. It is a great alternative to use as a gluten free flour. it’s lower in carbs and calories yet richer in protein and fiber.

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Mode aleli Chawli chi Bhaji with Coconut (Sprouted Black-eyed Beans Curry with Coconut)

Pulses are a great low-fat source of protein with high levels of fibre. Pulses contain both soluble and insoluble fibre and one cup of cooked pulses gives you more than half the amount of fibre you need for the entire day. Pulses also contain important vitamins and minerals like iron, potassium, calcium, folate, zinc, iron, and magnesium. Pulses also contain resistant starch, a type of carbohydrate that behaves like fibre in the body, and this helps improve gut health. Soaking and rinsing dry beans before cooking can help to reduce the flatulence that may be caused by these carbohydrates.

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