Though there is no legal or medical definition, superfoods are powerhouses of nutrients that contain large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. Superfoods are considered to be very good for your health and that may even help some medical conditions, chronic disease and prolong life.

We come across many articles in which the focus is in the western superfoods and they capture the limelight away from the indigenious foods that provide multiple health benefits. The irony is that we seem to have discovered superfoods through glossy pages of magazines that promote western superfoods or ingredients while our own traditions- so rich and valuable since time immemorial have been largely ignored or even forgotten. Ayurveda, emerged from India, has recognized and incorporated many of Indian foods to make medicines and health products.

So, here is list of top 10 superfoods that are easily available and can be included in the diet without much effort to prepare them.

  1. Millets – Millets are coarse grains which have many health benefits. They are high in fiber and minerals. Millets like jowar, bajra, ragi have gained importance in recent years. These are source of complex carbohydrates and therefore can be included in the diet for weight loss. They also help control cholesterol. These can be added in wheat flour to form multigrain flour.

  2. Cow’ milk – Start your day with a glass of cow’s milk. Milk is a complete food that has all the elements required for an individual’s growth and development. Cow’s milk is less fatty and energy dense than buffalo’s milk and therefore can be used as a weight loss food. 1 glass of it provides almost same protein content as in 1 glass of buffalo’s milk. Also milk is Calcium rich, which is crucial for the growth and development of bones, and the potassium element present in it regulates heart contraction.

  3. Nuts- This will not only keep you healthy and alert but will also keep your hair and skin in great condition. Researchers say that eating a handful of nuts daily can reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease. They are a great source of antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids. These can be sprinkled on your morning cereal, salads. You can also have a handful of them whenever you want in between meals.

  4. Oats – Oats have high fiber content. Therefore, they reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and unsweetened oats can be taken by diabetics. These can be taken along with milk in breakfast with a variety of fruit topping.

  5. Yoghurt – Dahi or curd has relationship in our kithchen since times immemorial. It is consumed in every part of our country. It is storehouse of calcium and is filled with good bacteria conducive to our gut flora. It can be taken by anyone in good health. You can have it as such or can make lassi, buttermilk, smoothie or many other products out of it.

  6. Banana – It is an excellent source of instant energy, vitamins B6 , vitamin C, fiber, potassium and manganese. They require no preparation, just peel and eat the fruit. You can make a sliced banana chaat with sprinkled salt, lemon or blend the peeled fruit with milk for a protein-filled fruit smoothie.

  7. Beetroots- Historically used as detoxifier and blood purifier. These are rich in vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, fiber and especially manganese. Slice, chop. Eat with salt, chaat masala or lemon juice with or without other vegetables. Slices can be grilled or used as sandwich fillings.

  8. Amla- It is also known as Gooseberry. It is the powerhouse of vitamin C. The gooseberry is the main ingredient in chyawanprash though it incorporates numerous other ingredients such as shilajit and ashwagandha which too are miracle foods valued for their aphrodisiac and stamina building prowess amongst other things. The fruit can be preserved by drying in sugar syrup. Amla has 20 times more vitamin C than oranges and quite surprisingly this is retained well even when the fruit is dried. Amla is also a great immunity booster as well as an antiaging agent.

  9. Mung beans are a good source of protein and fiber. They have appreciable amounts of magnesium and vitamin B1. These can be prepared by rinsing them before boiling in a pressure cooker. Add seasoning and eat with rice or puree to prepare a soup or as such. Otherwise, cook mung beans and rice together to prepare khichdi – easy to digest, nutritious meal – suitable for all especially children or elderly.

  10. Flaxseeds (alsi) – These are rich in fibers and omega 3 fatty acids which can feel you full for long. It is known to reduce cholesterol, accelerate metabolism and keep fat at bay. It can be roasted, packed in air tight container and used whenever you want or it can be roasted and then grounded to form powder to be used in any preparations.