With the fashion trend changing every season, our approach for food in recent years has also become a style statement. With new fancy superfoods in the market claiming everything from weight loss to curing diseases, we forget the basics of nutrition and get carried away with foods in vogue. Some foods are recently studied for special nutrient content, but most of these foods are not new inventions. They are just old foods being researched better giving it a new outlook. Just like fashion, nutrition keeps evolving, but the question is should we chase every food which comes with a short-lived craze?
Quinoa: Just like in the fashion industry ‘Couture’ couldn’t be pronounced by many, Quinoa follows this trend in the nutrition world. Before we eat it, let’s learn to pronounce it correctly – keen-wa. This grain has got the attention for being light, crunchy, gluten-free and containing approximately 8 grams of protein in a cooked 1-cup serving (more than another cereal). Unfortunately, it is expensive, not grown in India and not readily available. Though we may not be able to match its qualities, but there are other grains closely related to Quinoa giving equal benefits such as barley (jav), bajra, amaranth (rajgira) and buckwheat (kuttu).When consumed in combination with dals and pulses, you’ll even be able to exceed the protein content. So if you can find Quinoa please include it in your diet, but if you cant, its not the end of the world.
Olive Oil: The Mediterranean approach to food which introduced this oil in every urban Indian household, is comparatively one of the best vegetable oils. However, it is definitely not the best oil in the universe. Olive oil takes the limelight because it is packed with monounsaturated fatty acid that boosts the good cholesterol in the body and is high on antioxidants. But this does not allow you to fry the pakodas in olive oil and consider it to be healthy. Don’t overdo just because it is ‘olive oil’. Infact, changing the oil to rice-bran, canola or groundnut, every few months is more beneficial than just sticking to one type.
Multi-Grain: Its definitely advantageous to consume mixed grains as it enhances the nutrient composition of the flour. But before you throw away other grains from your diet, you need to understand which are the mixed grains you are looking at. If it is maize, cornstarch, refined wheat flour and rice the benefit is nil as the glycemic index is high for these cereals. If you want to follow the trend, follow it correctly. When looking for mixed grains in breads, biscuits, pastas etc. watch out for grains like oats, buckwheat, cracked wheat, bajra, jowar, barley, flax and millet.
Green Tea: It is loaded with antioxidants and claims to help in fat loss. Drinking a couple of cups a day is surely beneficial. But to replace your days water intake with pots of hot green tea will neither meet your hydration level nor start melting your stubborn fat.
Chia: these high protein heart-healthy seeds have a celebrity status in the newest food fads.
Chia are basically sabja seeds which we enjoy in yummy falooda. Lately every food is enhanced with Chia like breads, milkshakes, juices, biscuits etc. But these seeds have been around for centuries, unfortunately we have just recently understood its benefits.
Spirulina (Blue Green Algae) with high protein levels have gained popularity as a vegetarian protein source. Unfortunately, it is expensive and being an algae sometimes it can be contaminated. When including this superfood in your diet, don’t replace all dietary protein with it and make sure you buy it from a reputed source to prevent side-effects of contamination.
You could be healthy by consuming all balanced foods or you could be uber healthy by additionally consuming superfoods. Whatever your diet may be, its good to tune it up with a couple new trendy ingredients. Chances are you’ll find at least one food from the list above already in your diet, just add one more to make your diet ‘happening’