Steamed, puffy and delectable,Idli doused in the ever-so soothing sambhar sure makes for one of the nation’s most favourite breakfast. South Indian cuisine is a treasure trove of flavour and spice, while most of its hidden gems are making its way and becoming popular in the food circuit. Idli, for the longest time has been making the south Indian cuisine proud across the sub-continent. It is not oily or greasy, yet it is considered to be one of the most delicious regional snacks. It is a popular street food, yet shares no infamous reputation of being unhealthy or calorie-laden. So, what is it about Idli that makes it so healthy? Let’s, find out.
Weight Loss Benefits
Idlis are steamed! Unlike most of our Indian snacks, they are not fried in fattening oil or slathered with butter. Since the grease content in idli is so less, the calories intake is also relatively low. This makes idli a better alternative than fried pakodas or samosas.
The only glitch here is that, rice forms an important component of the Idli batter. More specifically, white rice, which are full of simple carbs that may induce weight gain. But, since idli is steamed and also has a considerable amount ofurad dalin the batter, the carb content of rice may not be so bad for your waistline. Or, you can tweak your traditional recipe a bit and make yourself some healthy weight-loss-friendly Idli. All you need to do is to replace rice with oats. You can also sneak in some leafy vegetables and healthy spices in the batter to make some healthy Idlis.
Light And Easy To Digest
The reason why Idlis are one of the most preferred breakfasts is because it is light and fills you with energy. They don’t make you lethargic. Since idli is fermented, it is easy to digest. Eating fermented food enables better breakdown of minerals and vitamins in our body, which helps in digestion. According to macrobiotic nutritionist and health practitioner, “Apart from aiding digestion, the lactic acid bacteria present in fermented foods also alter the PH balance in the intestines, which is associated with a long life and good health”
Rich In Vitamins And Encourages Healthy Gut Flora
Since Idli is a fermented food, and fermentation increases bio-availability of minerals in food, helping the body assimilate more nutrition. The bio availability of proteins and vitamin-B content in the food increases. According to Shilpa Arora, “the fermented process increases the bioavailability of nutrients like folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, biotin and Vitamin-K as well as some antibiotic & anti carcinogenic substances.” This is because micro-organisms break down complex protein, carbohydrates and fats more efficiently, enabling easy assimilation of nutrients. This also aids a healthy gut flora, since absorption of minerals and vitamins is so much easier.