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Top 7 Indian superfood alternatives to include in your diet

Exotic superfood is the new buzzword in the diet world. Almost every workout conscious person or potential fitness enthusiast is seen promoting imported fruits and vegetables. However, little do people know there are a few lesser-known Indian superfoods packed with the same amount of nutrition at a lesser price and easier accessibility.

Instead of deep-diving into the social media diet trends of consuming exotic foods, switch to Indian superfood alternatives. We have rounded up a list of desi substitutes for international superfoods that are loaded with ample nutrients.

Indian superfood alternative to try

Coconut in place of avocado

Indian superfoods
Image: Courtesy Pixabay

There’s no doubt avocados are loaded with multiple health benefits. However, they are expensive in India for many to consume on a daily basis. But not to worry, you can easily have coconut instead. Coconut is also known as a miracle fruit because of its high nutrition density. This tropical fruit is rich in insoluble fibre, manganese, carbs, fat, protein and small amounts of B vitamins.

Coconut is used in a number of remedies for skin and health. It keeps your digestion intact, helps reduce inflammation on your skin, keeps your body cool, improves your heart health and even works wonders in weight loss.

Flaxseeds in place of chia seeds

Indian superfoods
Image: Courtesy Freepik

Although chia seeds and sabja, aka flaxseeds, appear similar, they are different. The two belong to the same mint family and possess almost equal amount of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. However, where chia seeds have little number of calories than sabja, flaxseeds contain higher amount of copper and potassium. Also, if the latter are soaked in water overnight, they swell up and get rich in iron and antioxidants.

Spinach instead of kale

Indian superfoods
Image: Courtesy Pixabay

If you are on a weight loss spree, dependent on exotic superfood like kale, mind you, Indian veggies can easily beat it hands down. Healthy greens like spinach are easily available in the market. And they come packed with more folate and vitamins A and K than Kale. However, both spinach and kale benefit weight loss and improve heart health. Spinach is a powerhouse of nutrition. You can make it into a meal or blend it into smoothies for a healthier start.

Coconut oil for olive oil

Indian superfoods
Image: Courtesy Pixabay

People often associate olive oil with healthy cooking and weight loss. But surprisingly, Indian oils like coconut oil and mustard oil are equally beneficial and are being chosen in global households due to their dense nutritional value. Coconut oil contains healthy fats, and it helps in improving good cholesterol. Meanwhile, mustard oil has anti-microbial properties and reduces inflammation. Both of these oils are available at a much cheaper rate than olive oil.

Amla instead of goji berry

Indian superfoods
Image: Courtesy Pixabay

Goji berries offer numerous health benefits like an improved immune system and healthier skin. However, fresh berries like these are almost impossible to procure in the country. And all you can get access to are the dried forms of goji berries in the special stores, which are quite expensive. Therefore opt for amla instead. Also known as gooseberry, amla is rich in vitamin C and provides better skin and improved vision. This fruit also acts as a regulator in maintaining your blood sugar levels. Gooseberry keeps your system hydrated and prevents your skin from getting dry.

Amaranth for quinoa

Indian superfoods
Image: Courtesy Instagram/@urbanbhukkad, Pixabay

Amarnath or rajgiri seeds make for a great Indian superfood alternative to the exotic quinoa seeds. This one is the desi equivalent of the popular international variant that is often used for weight loss. Amarnath seeds are stuffed with the right amount of proteins and not just have double but four times more calcium in them than other grains. These gluten-free seeds also contain iron and fibre magnesium, which come with multiple health benefits, such as improved bone health.

Doodhi or Chow Chow instead of zucchini

Indian superfoods
Image: Courtesy Instagram/@helen’s kitchen, Pixabay

Zucchini is the new favourite for all the fitness freaks who aspire to lose weight through dieting. However, the Indian superfood, doodhi, a form of bottle gourd, can easily substitute for zucchini. Doodhi is low in calories and contains fibre, protein, the right amount of carbs and a series of vitamins like A, B1, B2, B3, C and E. This vegetable is the ideal pick for losing weight and can also cure sleeping disorders. Doodhi improves heart health, reduces stress and keeps your digestive system intact.

Hero image: Courtesy Freepik; Featured image: Courtesy Freepik

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India

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