Traditional foods help improve health, says VC

On the occasion of 6th Ayurveda Day (Sri Dhanvantri Jayanti), the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Yuvaraja’s College, and other associations in association with the Department of AYUSH, Government of Karnataka, organised a workshop on traditional food practices here on Thursday. The event marked the department’s 25th anniversary.

Congratulating the department on its silver jubilee and also inaugurating the workshop, University of Mysore Vice-Chancellor G. Hemantha Kumar spoke about various traditional foods that are commonly consumed in the country having health benefits.These foods could help prevent some serious ailments.

The VC cited the examples of ambali, a finger millet-based fermented semi-liquid food preparation consumed by the people in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and is considered a geriatric food because of the presence of high calcium and low-resistant starch in finger millet. It consists of sufficient amount of calcium and is a healthy drink for elderly persons.

Referring to “ragi hurihittu”, he said it is the flour of popped finger millet rich in dietary fibres and nutrients. Popping is a simple processing technique done by severe heat treatment. It can be used for the preparation of dietetic foods for anaemia and geriatric food formulation, Prof. Kumar said in his inaugural address.

He said idli provides complimentary proteins as it is prepared from the fermented product using rice and black gram batter with steam cooking. Dosa is also a fermented dish and more digestible and nutritionally dense and therefore recommended for elderly persons and children below 10 years of age.

“Bale dindu palya (curry made from banana stem) is recommended for diabetic patients and also for those suffering from stomach ailments,” he said, besides speaking about the benefits of foods like “basale soppu palya”, “tambuli”, “ondelaga chutney”, bamboo shoot curry, “dhokla” and others.

The VC said several studies have pointed out that various compounds found in spices like turmeric, black pepper, garlic, basil, cardamom etc., used in Indian cuisines help reduce risk of cancer and affect tumour behaviour.

“A well-curated Indian diet can help control blood sugar levels. A study shows that Indian foods can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and is suitable for individuals who already have diabetes.”

The controlled use of healthy spices and herbs help fight inflammation throughout the body and lower blood pressure, besides reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and various other heart-related conditions, he claimed.

Prof. Kumar said many Indian foods are made using milk and curd which is a good source of calcium. Consuming these foods can improve bone health and may prevent the risk of osteoporosis and other bone diseases. “An Indian diet also helps reduce the chances of dementia as spices and herbs used in Indian cooking have been shown to help preserve memory and prevent cognitive decline.”

Former CFTRI Director V. Prakash also spoke on the occasion. B.N. Yashoda, Principal, Yuvaraja College, Department HoD Shekar Naik, Lakshmi Narayana Shenoy and others were present.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 7:18:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/traditional-foods-help-improve-health-says-vc/article37684976.ece

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