While Indians do have lower life expectancies than people living in the West, and they suffer from diseases like malnourishment and malaria, it’s a well-documented fact that they don’t suffer from some of the same dis-eases as Americans. They have lower rates of heart disease, cholesterol, and diabetes.
One reason that Indians do maintain their health, in spite of all the challenges that they may face, is due to their diet. Some people still lack refrigeration so the food is freshly cooked. There is a great emphasis on eating freshly prepared, warm food for each meal and having the family together for meals. Many people don’t have microwaves and are not exposed to that unhealthy invention.
They use ghee, or clarified butter for cooking and on their food. Contrary to popular opinion, ghee does not raise cholesterol or clog the arteries. Most of the fat is removed in the preparation of ghee. Ghee actually nourishes the tissues, aids in digestion, improves brain function, and contains Vitamins A, D, E & K.
The spices used in traditional Indian cooking not only add flavor, but also have medicinal properties.
- Nutmeg enhances the tone of the muscles and helps with insomnia.
- Garlic boosts the immunity and reduces cholesterol.
- Turmeric is anti-septic, anti-bacterial, anti-flatulent, and a decongestant. It purifies the blood and can be used in the treatment of cancer.
- Black pepper is a powerful digestive stimulant. It destroys toxins from the body.
- Cardamom is a heart tonic as well as an expectorant for respiratory diseases.
- Cinnamon is an expectorant and decongestant, especially for flu and colds. It can be used to treat sinus congestion and bronchitis.
- Cumin is anti-inflammatory and aids in digestion.
- Coriander is a digestive stimulant and a mild diuretic.
- Fennel balances all 3 doshas. It is good for bad breath and is a mild laxative.
A mixture of these spices is used in most Indian recipes; it not only makes them tasty but also regulates health.
Many Ayurvedic home remedies contain these spices. This makes it easy to heal without having to run to the doctor or pharmacy when you’re not well.
Put these spices on your grocery list and then get cooking!