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Three Indian superfoods we should be talking about

No, you don't need to shop for kale, blueberries, quinoa and matcha. There are plenty of desi foods that offer similar or greater benefits. Here are some of them

You don't have to eat expensive imported food to stay healthy
You don't have to eat expensive imported food to stay healthy (Unsplash)

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Sure, nutritionists often hate the word, but, let's face it, the superfood trend isn't going away anywhere. It is human to want quick fixes, and the idea of a single food that is going to change your life completely is hard to ignore. Admittedly, no one food can do it, and the term is simply a marketing strategy. Having said that, some foods are indeed more nutritionally dense than others, and it may not be a bad thing to include them in your diet if you like the taste and texture of them.

Also read: Are superfoods really that super?

Now before you reach out for cacao nibs, manuka honey or bee pollen, I urge you to look into your own kitchen or take a trip to your local store. There are plenty of local, nutritionally-dense superfoods that don't cost you an arm and a leg. Here are three of them

1. Chaksu seeds

Chaksu seeds, also known as chimed and jasmeejaz, come from the Cassia Absus found all across the country, especially in North-West India. In an August 12 Instagram post, New Delhi-based nutritionist Lovneet Batra lists some of the benefits of these seeds: anti-hypertensive, anti-inflammatory, prevents constipation and can be used to manage diabetes, among other things. “Chaksu seeds have many medicinal properties that can be used in the form of decoction, powder and even juice,” writes Bhatia in that same post.

Here is a great way to get some chaksu seeds in your diet.

2. Amaranth

Do you remember those tiny grains that went into the porridge, chikkis and laddoos that your grandmother ate on the days she fasted? Also called rajgira, this gluten-free ancient pseudocereal is rich in protein, fibre and micronutrients, especially good if you're on a fast or as a pre-workout meal before a long sweat session as it allows slow-sustained energy release. Cook it into a porridge, throw it into rotis or, if feeling particularly decadent, slow, roast it with jaggery and make something sweet with it; the options are endless.

Not sure where to start? Try out this delicious halwa recipe

3. Makhana

No, makhana is not lotus seed, a fallacy that has been around for a while. It does come from the prickly water lily that, like the lotus, is an aquatic plant and is also called foxnut. A versatile food, rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals, it is often packaged and flavoured, a healthier alternative to chips and popcorn. And yes, there are lots of delicious dishes you can make with them: from curries to kheer.

Also read: How to cook the superfood amla

Try out this great recipe for makhana curry, a perfect accompaniment to rice or roti

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