Pumpkin To Drumsticks, 7 Beta-Carotene Rich Indian Foods
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Indian cuisine is renowned for its rich flavours, vibrant colours, and diverse range of ingredients. The incorporation of spices, herbs, and vegetables makes Indian dishes not only delicious but also highly nutritious. Explore the top seven foods commonly found in Indian cuisine that are rich in beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant known for its immune-boosting properties. Additionally, we will highlight three healthy Indian dishes that are not only packed with flavour but also provide substantial amounts of beta-carotene for enhanced immune support.

Top 7 Foods Around Indian Cuisine with High Levels of Beta-Carotene

1. Pumpkin

Pumpkin is a staple ingredient in many Indian dishes, particularly during the festive season. It is a fantastic source of beta-carotene, providing vibrant orange colour to curries, soups, and desserts. Adding pumpkin to your diet can contribute to a healthy immune system, as beta-carotene converts into vitamin A, which plays a vital role in immune function.

2. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes, known as shakarkandi in Hindi, are a popular ingredient in Indian cuisine. They are not only versatile but also packed with nutrients, including beta-carotene. Sweet potatoes can be prepared in various ways, such as roasted, mashed, or used in curries, offering a delicious and nutritious addition to your meals.

3. Spinach

Spinach, or palak, is a leafy green vegetable widely used in Indian cooking. It is a nutritional powerhouse, containing an abundance of beta-carotene and other essential vitamins and minerals. Incorporating spinach into dishes like saag paneer (spinach and cottage cheese curry) or palak dal (spinach lentil soup) can provide a significant immune-boosting benefit.

4. Carrots

Carrots, or gajar, are widely consumed in Indian households and are known for their high beta-carotene content. They can be enjoyed raw as a snack, grated in salads, or cooked in curries. The vibrant orange colour of carrots indicates their beta-carotene richness, making them a valuable addition to your immune-supporting diet.

5. Mangoes

Mangoes, fondly known as the "king of fruits" in India, are not only incredibly delicious but also packed with nutrients. They are a rich source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and other antioxidants. Including mangoes in your diet, whether enjoyed as is or used in dishes like mango lassi or mango chutney, can provide a refreshing and immune-boosting experience.

6. Papaya

Papaya, or papita, is a tropical fruit widely available in India. It is loaded with beta-carotene, vitamin C, and digestive enzymes, making it an excellent choice for supporting your immune system. Enjoying papaya as a fruit, blending it into smoothies, or incorporating it into fruit salads can provide a flavourful and nutritious boost to your health.

7. Drumsticks

Drumsticks, or moringa pods, are commonly used in South Indian cuisine. They are rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C, iron, and antioxidants. Drumsticks are often added to sambar (a lentil and vegetable stew) or used in other curries, contributing to both the flavour and nutritional value of the dishes.

3 Healthy Indian Dishes with High Levels of Beta-Carotene

1. Matar Paneer (Peas and Cottage Cheese Curry)

Matar Paneer is a popular Indian dish that combines green peas with paneer (cottage cheese) in a flavorful tomato-based curry. Green peas are a good source of beta-carotene, while paneer provides protein and calcium. This dish not only satisfies your taste buds but also provides immune-boosting nutrients.

2. Beetroot Thoran (Stir-Fried Beetroot)

Beetroot Thoran is a traditional South Indian dish made by stir-frying grated beetroot with coconut, spices, and curry leaves. Beetroot is naturally rich in beta-carotene and provides numerous health benefits. This colourful and aromatic dish is a nutritious addition to your meal, supporting both your immune system and overall well-being.

3. Turmeric Milk (Haldi Doodh)

Turmeric Milk, also known as Haldi Doodh, is a popular Ayurvedic remedy for boosting immunity. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. By adding turmeric to warm milk, along with other spices like cinnamon and ginger, you can create a soothing and immune-boosting beverage.

Incorporating the top 7 foods commonly found in Indian cuisines, such as pumpkin, sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, mangoes, papaya, and drumsticks, into your diet can provide a rich source of beta-carotene for immune support. Additionally, including healthy Indian dishes like Matar Paneer, Beetroot Thoran, and Turmeric Milk can further enhance your intake of beta-carotene and other beneficial nutrients. Embrace the flavours and diversity of Indian cuisine while nourishing your immune system and promoting overall wellness. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist for personalized advice on incorporating these foods and dishes into your diet for optimal health benefits.