Saturday, 22 August 2009
Indian sambar has several anti-oxidant properties which prevent the growth of cancerous cells in the body
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: The mouth-watering south Indian sambar has several anti-oxidant properties which prevent the growth of cancerous cells in the body.
The special ingredients that go into the preparation of this south Indian patented dish help in easy digestion, provide the much-needed energy and boost the immune system. They are also anti-carcinogenic in nature and prevent the development of cancer.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in association with the Public Health Foundation of India, has launched a campaign to promote traditional Indian foods as part of its "healthy India" programme. The campaign highlights the importance of south Indian sambar in the over all diet balance of an individual and prevention of a variety of diseases including carcinomas.
"Vegetables that are incorporated in dal preparations like sambar increase the glycemic index of food and provide a variety of nutrients and anti-oxidants. This also ensures that a number of vegetables get consumed everyday, as sambar is an essential food item consumed by most households," the MoHFW points out in its campaign. Drumsticks, onions, garlic, asafoetida, bhendi, brinjal and bottle gourd are essential ingredients of sambar and each of them have their own medicinal and anti-oxidant properties.
Any item that increases the glycemic index of food keeps the body healthy and strong and free from diseases or major health complications. A balanced glycemic index means control over diabetes, weight and blood lipids and improved body sensitivity to insulin and fast re-fuel of carbohydrate stores after exercise. Sambar is the ideal kitchen preparation to maintain the glycemic index of food.
Since sambar is prepared with less oil, it does not give much calories to the body. Consumption of sambar and traditional chutneys prepared from special spices provide additional health benefits by virtue of micronutrients, anti-oxidants and vitamins present in them in sufficiently large quantities.
"Healthy eating habits and increased physical activity alone can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 58 per cent, high blood pressure by 66 per cent and heart attacks and stroke by 40-60 per cent," it points out.
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