Importance & Health Benefits of Traditional Indian Vegetarian Diet

Traditional Indian vegetarian diet mainly consists of legumes, vegetables, milk, curd/yoghurt & clarified butter (ghee). Apart from the ingredients used in cooking the different masalas used aids in digestion. Moreover the utensils used in cooking also plays a very important role which in turn has immense health benefits. In ancient times, people cooked in earthern pots which is still practised in temples in India. The porosity and natural insulating properties of clay helps heat and moisture to circulate throughout the clay pots. This causes the moisture and nutrient loss while cooking in clay pots to be much lower compared to cooking in metal or enamel lined utensils.

ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS USED IN FOOD :

  1. Clarified Butter (Ghee) : Ghee can be stored for a long time without refrigeration. It is considered as purifier that absorbs and expels toxins from the body. It is far superior in properties & digestibility than any vegetable oil.
  2. Dals (Pulses) : The main source of protein is dal in Indian diet. Therefore they accompany meals. There are many ways to prepare dal which varies from state to state. The diversity in cooking style is due to the difference in climatic conditions. The most popular and simple way to make dal in India is by simply boiling it in water adding salt and turmeric powder.
  3. Flour : These are the cheapest source of calories. It contributes as much as 70 to 80 percent of the calories in the Indian diet. Flours are also good binding material and enhance the flavour. But refined flour should not be used in the diet as it sticks to the intestine and causes constipation.
  4. Nuts & Seeds : Nuts & seeds are popularly used in Indian sweets and drinks. Nuts are excellent source of protein, fat & certain carbohydrates; they contain vitamins A,B,C and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. The protein in nuts of high quality are even higher than that in milk, meat and eggs. This protein in easily digestible by the system as milk.
    Spices : Spices makes dals easy to digest and removes the gas producing quality. Masala means any number of spice combinations. Cumin, black peppercorn, cardamom (black or green) are the frequently used spices. Garam masala means “spicy mixture”. It is used with other spices or in recepies which are oily and heavy.