Some Vegetarian Facts...

Vegetables are an integral part of Indian food and we consume them in a number of ways. For pure vegetarians India is a heaven. India can boast for its innumerable varieties of tasty and nutritious vegetarian dishes. Indians like their vegetable curries are real hot 'n' spicy and so add a number of spices to make them really exotic. These are also prepared using different methods of cooking like baking, boiling, frying etc. I offer a number of tempting Indian vegetarain recipes of dishes like Navratan Korma, Shahi Paneer etc. to the connoisseurs of taste. Recipes in India are traditionally not written down, but rather, are passed down verbally from generation to generation. Over the centuries, the cuisine has evolved to include pungent spices and rich flavors, and can be quite different depending on the region (India is nearly the size of Europe, after all). The Indian bread is made of whole wheat flour as opposed to the bread made up with white flour. The South Indian dishes like idlis and dosa are made from fermented lentils and rice and all these are very richly nutritious and healthy.

Many Indian restaurants focus on Northern Indian cuisine, but there is a common thread that weaves all the types of Indian foods together: Ayurveda. This ancient science system is a comprehensive set of principles that integrates health, diet, wellness and balance to support the mind, body and spirit. Most Indian food is based on Ayurvedic principles, and is made to support the body nutritionally and spiritually. It includes six basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent.Rather than being based on calories and fat grams, Ayurvedic tradition looks at a food's properties, its assimilation in the body, water levels, salt levels and characteristics of the individual person eating the food. The Indian foods are rich in whole grains including lentils, legumes and dried beans such as kidney beans, chickpeas, black-eyed beans, etc. Whole grains are good sources of proteins, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals; and low in fat are heart friendly. Whole grains may help reduce the risk of colon cancer, and cancers of the stomach and mouth. Many Indians are vegetarian. They do not eat any animal based foods but eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low fat milk and plant-based proteins. These foods are good for weight loss, heart and blood pressure. The rate of Alzheimer's disease in India is about four times lower than in the USA which is attributed to the use of spices. Spices are also good for the metabolism of the body.

Much of Indian cuisine revolves around health-promoting herbs, spices and vegetables, I have compiled some of the healthiest among them on this site. "Indian Cuisine" really includes dozens of distinct regional styles of cooking, there are certain spices that we associate specifically with Indian food.  Turmeric (the main ingredient in curry), ginger, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, mustard, and pepper are the most familiar of the classic Indian spices. But as anyone who has ever attempted to cook Indian food at home, the list of "essential" spices can be quite long! Spices do more than just flavor foods. In the Ayurvedic tradition, spices also balance and heal the body; food is a big part of the healing arts. In the Western tradition, research has confirmed that many spices have potent biological activity. To list just a few: Turmeric (the main ingredient in curry) has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, comparable to the effects of hydrocortisone.  It's effective in reducing symptoms of irritable bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis. It's also a potent antioxidant and has cancer-preventive properties. Ginger is also a potent anti-inflammatory, acting through the same biological mechanism as the COX-2 inhibitors like Vioxx--but without the deadly side effects. Ginger is also an anti-coagulant, which helps keep the blood from forming clots and also soothes irritated stomachs and nausea. Cinnamon helps lower blood sugar levels by making cells more sensitive to insulin (similar to the action of antidiabetic drugs)


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