Indians share a special bond with food. From what we eat to how it’s prepared and the way it’s consumed – there are many things that make it unique and healthy. Here are 8 traditional Indian eating habits that the world can learn from us.
1. Eating With Hands
It is believed in Ayurveda that each finger is an extension of the five elements – air, water, space, fire, and earth. Eating food with fingers stimulates these five elements and helps in secretion of digestive juices in the stomach. Also, feeling your food makes your more conscious of its taste, textures, and aromas.
2. Using Homemade Spices
Most Westerners who cook their meat with only salt and pepper will never know the wonderful things haldi and garam masala can do to its flavour. Nothing can compare to the taste and aroma of fresh home roasted spices sprinkled on top. What’s more, they are even good for your immunity.
3. Consuming Ghee
Ghee has a bad rep for its high saturated fat content. But research has shown that it is actually good for the heart. And that’s not the only trick it has up its sleeve – it improves digestion and helps to lose weight.
4. Eating Pickled Fruits And Vegetables
Remember the time when your granny used to make amle ka murabba for you? Or gajar ka achar? Pickles can be a good source of antioxidants (if consumed in moderation). The pickles are made of uncooked veggies and fruits, that’s why the antioxidants in them are preserved as it is.
5. Eating A Lot Of Curd
Indians serve curd with almost every meal. Consuming its good bacteria is beneficial for digestive health and preventing heart burns. You can have curd as raita, or lassi with your meals.
6. Going Easy On The Non-Veg Food
While western breakfast has ham and bacon as staples, in India, breakfast is almost always vegetarian. Parathas to idli sambar from north to south, and thepla to aalu torkari from west to east – there are a lot of options to choose from. And when it comes to dinner, even die hard fans of meat and chicken share the same love for homemade daal–sabzi and roti. Going easy on the non-vegetarian food keeps cholesterol and fat intake in check.
7. Serving Food On A Banana Leaf
Serving food on a banana leaf is a centuries-old tradition in South India, especially in Kerala. Banana leaves contain large amounts of polyphenols – a natural antioxidant. Placing hot food on it stimulates the nutrients that enrich the meal. Also, if you have large parties, serving food on banana leaves instead of plastic plates is good for the environment.
8. Eating While Sitting On The Floor
If you sit on a chair while eating, your blood will naturally flow to the legs making digestion harder. On the other hand, sitting on the floor makes digestion easier. Your upper body moves back and forth while picking the food, which helps in the movement of abdomen muscles. Also, the sukhasan pose (sitting cross legged) relaxes the mind.