Hello, Health

This Basant Panchami, nourish yourself with healthy portion of yellow foods

Eating a food that’s great for our brain is an apt way to spend this day.

 |  Hello, Health  |  3-minute read |   22-01-2018
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It’s Basant Panchami today. This festival is a celebration of the shift in seasons and marks the onset of spring. Spring denotes hope and new beginnings, and that’s probably why the colour of Basant (spring) is yellow, also known as “Basanti”. This sunny hue symbolises prosperity, light, energy and optimism, and — on this day — you are supposed to wear yellow, decorate the house with yellow flowers and eat yellow food, too. The traditional delicacies cooked in homes across the country on Basant Panchami are all yellow and delicious: yellow rice, both sweet and savoury, yellow curries, and of course yellow desserts — boondi ka ladoo, besan ka ladoo, raj bhog, paayesh, meethe chawal, kesaria sheera, et al.

Besides being an instant mood booster and representing happiness, joy and hope, foods of this sunny hue have a lot more going for them. I have already written about how about green leafy vegetables and purple foods are good for you, now know how yellow foods can help you.

All yellow fruits and vegetables are teeming with antioxidants: carotenoids and bioflavonoids, and have an abundance of vitamin C, but some are particularly beneficial.

ladoo-yello_012218021702.jpgThe traditional delicacies cooked in homes across the country on Basant Panchami are all yellow and delicious!

Besides turmeric (which I have written about extensively earlier too; here’s my pick of top five yellow foods that all of us must eat more of:

Pineapple

It is a de-bloating food; perfect for the days you are feeling bloated as it is loaded with minerals (potassium) and enzymes that help contain bloating and detoxify the body.

241720_082216120005_012218021148.jpgDe-bloat with pineapple!

Read more here.

Pumpkin

This vegetable is straight out of a health fairy tale. For starters, it extremely low calorie (just 26 per 100gm), is loaded with fibre that keeps your gut happy, delivers a lot of vitamin A, a nutrient which keeps our eyes sharp and also has a role in cancer prevention.

img_5349_11281602292_012218021205.jpgPumpkin packs a nutrient which keeps our eyes sharp and also has a role in cancer prevention.

Yellow peppers

Yellow peppers contain more antioxidants, vitamins and minerals than the green ones. They taste sweeter, too. Besides packing a lot of vitamin C, the high amount of folate in peppers helps control homocysteine levels — this cuts the risk of heart disease.

peppers_012218021329.jpgYellow peppers contain more antioxidants, vitamins and minerals than the green ones. 

And thanks to vitamin B6 and folate, it’s a good mood food and can help alleviate depression, too.

Corn

Corn is rich in vitamin B, especially thiamin (your brain’s health depends on it), niacin (helps lower bad cholesterol levels), folic acid (an important cog in the production of red blood cells) and pantothenic acid (B5), which is an essential vitamin for carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism in the body.

It is also loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that help keep our eyes healthy. For more benefits, read here.

Sweet potato

Completely overshadowed by potatoes, these tubers that come in the yellow colour too, have a lot going for them nutritionally. They are a natural source of beta carotene, which gets converted into vitamin A in the body, delivers a good amount of vitamin C that helps boost immunity, and two essential nutrients for a healthy heart: potassium and magnesium.

sweet-potato_012218021543.jpgCompletely overshadowed by potatoes, these tubers that come in the yellow colour too, have a lot going for them nutritionally.

It also packs a lot of B6 — called pyridoxine — which is important for healthy brain function and development, and is involved in the process of making serotonin and norepinephrine, the chemicals that transmit signals in the brain.

Now, as Basant Panchami is celebrated in the honour of Goddess Saraswati — the goddess of knowledge — eating a food that’s great for our brain is an apt way to spend this day, don’t you think?

Happy Basant Panchami everyone!

Also read - Chew on this: Fennel seeds are great for weight loss and ending bad breath

Writer

Kavita Devgan Kavita Devgan @kavitadevgan

The writer is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don't Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico) and Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa).

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