Substantial Staples

Ugadi celebrations of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh states

When the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh celebrate Ugadi, food plays a major role. The fare is usually traditional Telugu cuisine – a rich cultural tradition featuring aromatic spices and wholesome flavours. In fact, a few ingredients are so common that no meal can be prepared without them. From tamarind and coconut to rice and tomato, check out the staples of Telugu cooking and their myriad health benefits.
 
The fruit of the tamarind tree is packed with essential compounds, vitamins and minerals. As well as being a good source of dietary fibre, the fruit’s sticky pulp is packed with non-starch polysaccharides: gum, hemicellulose, mucilage, pectin and tannin. Approximately 100 grams of the pulp contains more than 15% of the recommended daily allowance of dietary fibre, which helps regulate bowel movements and protects the colon from free radicals. Another benefit is the reduced absorption of bile salts, which helps lower LDL cholesterol levels.
 
elugu cooking and their myriad health benefits 
 
A highly-prized ingredient in Telugu cuisines, tamarind is rich in copper, potassium, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium. Potassium aids the regulation of the body’s heart rate and blood pressure, while iron stimulated the production of red blood cells. There are also significant levels of nutrients such as folic acid, vitamins A and C, niacin and riboflavin. Several of these have antioxidant properties, and they also help metabolise a number of enzymes. Medically, tamarind has been used for centuries due to its laxative properties. The fruit’s pulp is a common remedy for bile disorders and digestive issues.
 
Lacking fat and cholesterol, rice can be helpful in keeping those components in check. Foods that can provide nutritional value without many side effects aren’t uncommon, but few of them are as versatile and as delicious as rice. Despite what you may have heard from some studies, rice is one of the world’s staples because it helps you stay healthy, when consumed in moderation.
 
Ugadi Pachadi 
 
Because it’s low in sodium, rice is well-suited to people with high blood pressure, which is aggravated by excessive salt consumption. Sodium can force your veins and arteries to constrict, upping the stress load on your cardiovascular system by increasing blood pressure. A similar situation can exist with your heart, as well as related ailments such as atherosclerosis and stroke.
 
Because of its high saturated fat content, coconut oil is something of a demon in the health food world. But because data is now showing that saturated fats may not be as villainous as once thought, coconut oil is getting a new lease of life. In addition, the saturated fats in it aren’t the same kinds as in other foods such as chips and cheese.
 
Ugadi Food 
 
The medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil move directly from the digestive tract to the liver, becoming quick energy or ketone bodies. The latter are known to help people who suffer from illnesses of the mind, such as Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy. The saturated fats in coconut oil also increase HDL cholesterol, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and enhancing long-term health of the body’s most vital organ. Coconuts also help stave off hunger by keeping you full longer, while ramping up the number of calories you burn without expending energy.
 
Tomatoes are famous for being rich in antioxidants such as lycopene. The link between consumption of this compound and bone health has been proven time and again, and the connection between lycopene and a lower risk of prostate cancer is virtually undisputed these days. This miracle fruit has also been linked to better heart health. Fresh tomato can lower total and LDL cholesterol, and it also prevents the unwanted aggregation of platelets in the blood. This benefit is of special significance as it goes a long way toward lowering one’s risk of heart-related ailments.
 
Among the phytonutrients that have been recently discovered in tomatoes are a glycoside called esculeoside A, a flavonoid called chalconaringenin, and a fatty acid called 9-oxo-octadecadienoic acid. While our understanding of phytonutrients is still developing, what we do know points to all three of these compounds playing a major role in helping stave off heart attacks. In addition, diets rich in fresh tomato have also been known to lower the risk of neurological ailments like Parkinson’s disease and obesity-related problems such as diabetes.                                                                                                                                                              ..... Ashwin