Discover Secrets of Indian home food

MyHome Nutrition

Indian home cooking is a world away from the stereotypical fare you get at curry houses, it’s healthy, mainly vegetarian and nutritionally balanced. Life is all about balance right, yes we are all time poor, but who has time for dull, bland food? So investing in what you put inside your body will go a long way towards how you look and feel on the outside.

What’s Ayurveda?
It’s literal meaning is ayur = science + veda = life.

It’s a healing system based on the premis that health and wellness depend on a balance between mind, body and spirit and originates from India put in the most simplistic terms. So I’m most concerned with the body element. There are ingredients and spices used in everyday Indian cuisine that not only taste great but have medicinal value too.

Turmeric: often referred to as a ‘superfood’, it is a powerful anti inflammatory and a strong anti-oxidant, which helps against ageing. Bring on the turmeric I hear you say! It can help with conditions such as arthritis, irritable bowel, cognitive decline, heart disease and back pain.

Garlic: helps to purify the blood and flush out toxins. Also an aid to control acne. Though not used in Ayurvedic cooking, used more as a medicine. Proven to be helpful in atherosclerosis, high blood pressure and cold prevention.

Ginger: boosts immunity, helps digestion, enhances metabolism and increases blood circulation. It’s also known to aid the absorption of nutrients. Medicinally it is used to calm upset stomachs and irritable bowels, reduce inflammation, boost immunity, balance hormones and support liver function.

Chillies: enhances metabolism, rich in Vitamin C, needed to develop the immune system.

Cumin: Aids digestion, and helps to minimize/reduce water retention.

Ajwain/Carom Seeds: used to maintain digestive health, and used liberally by Indian mothers for its miraculous ability to cure tummy upsets, pain or indigestion.

Fennel Seeds: used to aid constipation, indigestion and bloating/gas. Sugar coated seeds taken after a meal also freshens breath! Used in herbal medicine to improve digestive symptoms such as colic, IBS, reflux and heartburn.

Coriander Seeds: antiseptic properties used to treat inflammation.

Cinnamon/Cassia Bark: anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. Has many positive effects on metabolic processes such as blood sugar balance and digestion, and has anti-fungal properties.

Cardamom: aids digestive health and increases blood circulation.

There is continuous research and studies into ‘superfoods’ and these just happen to be some of spices I use regularly in my cooking. It stands to reason that what we put into our bodies also feeds and nourishes the mind and spirit.

Written in conjunction with Katy Petter, Cheshire based nutritionist.