Vegetables, meat, rice, eggs and grains are the main staples in Indian cuisine, but which of these foods are the healthful ones for the body?
This is one of the questions we have been asking ourselves lately, because we all eat a lot of these food items and we all get a lot sick.
We are all familiar with the symptoms of inflammation and ulcers, which are common symptoms of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
The reason why we get sick from these food products is because they contain a lot (a lot) of chemicals, pesticides and antibiotics that have been used in the production of these products.
We all know about the fact that many of these ingredients are also known to be found in our food, but are they safe to eat?
Our friends at the Food Safety Monitoring Centre of India (FSMCI) are currently looking into the question, and they are planning to launch an online survey soon.
They have asked us for some of our favourite Indian restaurants, and we have selected five of the best eateries around the country.
Our mission is to get as many people as possible to give their views on these five restaurants, so that we can make a better informed food choice for our family.
What is a vegetarian diet?
Vegetarians eat no animal products.
All foods are naturally vegetarian, including grains and legumes, which can contain as little as one-third of the total amount of nutrients a human being needs to maintain normal health.
There are exceptions to this rule, however, as vegetables such as cauliflower, tomatoes, beans, lentils, and peas can contain up to 20% of the amount of essential nutrients that a human body needs.
Vegetarianism is not about avoiding animal products entirely.
A vegetarian diet is a diet that is predominantly vegetarian in nature, and that includes avoiding animal-derived products like dairy products, egg, meat and fish.
The following list of vegetables is a simple guide to what a vegetarian or vegan diet should include.
Beans and peas The bean is the most important ingredient in most vegetarian diets.
Beans contain a wide variety of phytochemicals, including beta carotene, iron, zinc and copper.
Beans also contain several other nutrients that are important for your health, such as potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, calcium and vitamin C. You can read more about beans here.
Tomatoes The tomato is the second most important vegetable.
It contains a variety of antioxidants, including lycopene, vitamin C, vitamin E and potassium.
Tomato juice, a popular drink in many countries, is a healthy addition to most vegetarian or non-vegetarian diets.
It also contains vitamin E, zinc, iron and copper, which help to maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels.
It is important to note that the amount that you should consume depends on how much you eat of vegetables, and on how well you digest your food.
If you do not eat any meat, for example, you can eat up to four cups of tomatoes a day.
If, however in a pinch, you need more vegetables, then try adding them to a salad.
A tomato salad contains a great variety of vegetables such a tomatoes, cauliflower and sweet potatoes.
Pulses, millet, buckwheat, chickpeas and pulses are also some of the other important plant sources of fibre.
Some people, however like to add milk or cream to their meals as a replacement for the protein in meat.
Dairy foods like milk, yogurt, cheese and cream are also very important in many vegetarian diets, and should be consumed in moderation.
You should also remember that there are different types of dairy products.
Some contain milk, some contain whey, and some contain cheese, butter or cream.
Yogurt is an excellent dairy product for vegetarians because it contains no animal-based ingredients.
Vegetarians can also make use of fermented vegetables like leeks, onions and garlic to make their own dairy-free yogurt.
Legumes and lentils Legumes (also known as lentils or peas) are the most common and well-known foods for vegetative people.
They contain proteins, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients which are important in the health of the body.
In general, vegetarians can consume a lot more legumes than non- vegetarians.
For example, a vegetarian could eat three cups of lentils and three cups (roughly half a cup) of peas a day, whereas a non- vegetarian could only eat one cup of lentil and one cup (roughLY half a glass) of rice.
The main ingredients in legumes are the saponins, a type of protein found in the roots of the bean.
In the process of ripening the beans, the sapons are fermented.
These saponin-containing seeds are then dried, and the resulting dry beans are then made into smoothies, soups, souks, salads, milks, and even other foods.
Legume products are also good for the heart