“Nothing that is exotic is sustainable to the pocket after a few times,” says Delhi-based clinical nutritionist Lovneet Batra, vouching for the treasure trove of indigenous, inexpensive ingredients in our Indian kitchens. “I have always believed in the power of going back to the basics for good health, and appreciating the benefits of the food we have grown up on,” she adds with a smile, as she celebrates the resounding feedback to her latest book, 50 Desi Super Drinks. A delicious bounty of easy-to-make recipes, with ingredients that you can virtually draw in from your own backyard.
“The book is an attempt to bring back forgotten foods that nurture health in just a cup,” says Lovneet, of the cluster of beneficial glugs that work wonders on our health. With trending diets changing every single day, fancy-schmancy ingredients, fast paced urban lifestyles…it is a confusing mix for each one of us. “Honestly, there is an information overload, with most people aping celeb diets and hankering after express results and weight loss. But then there are a growing number of people who are now aware of, and focussed on holistic health and eating right.
I believe in keeping health and fitness simple by drawing from our indigenous fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs are bursting with super powers. These must be consumed to strengthen our immunity, to be able to handle the pressures of the unique environment we live in our country,” she explains, having distilled the nutrient and healing powers of the local ingredients into ten minute recipes.
There are curious, uncommon inclusions in her bouquet of suggested preparations with a carefully calculated nutritional takeaway in each. “Like buckwheat tea, made of ‘vrat’ friendly kuttu flour: This drink comes strapped with amino acids like lysine and arginine, with its soluble carbs that work wonders for the diabetic. Buckwheat tea carries manganese that betters your metabolism, and boosts haemoglobin naturally,” she says. Call it a mega fatigue fighting tonic, as it even props up your oxygen level and kidney function. “For PCOS warriors, buckwheat is a blessing as it improves ovary functions and boosts fertility,” she adds. Listen up, ladies.
Ajwain Gur Kahra is her favorite recommendation for winter. The anti-inflammatory properties of the hot sip cleanse the liver, detox gut and lungs effectively. “It is a digestion booster superstar, and counters allergic cough, cold, and asthma,” she points out. “For us women, this spice is a godsend as it manage bloating and PMS symptoms, keeping cramping, hormone fluctuation and nausea away.” Sip up the skin and hair loving nutrients in the delicious Bamboo Shoot and Lotus Stem Sherbet, loaded with silica, the savior mineral for nails and teeth too. “This copper rich drink is recommended to people looking to prevent Alzheimer’s, to manage stress and mood disorders,” explains Loveneet. “A vitamin cocktail, this low calorie drink is rich in fibre and cellulose. The sherbet manages stress disorders, digestive issues, blood pressure and lowers bad cholesterol.” A perfect pick in keeping with our pressure cooker urban lifestyle
Shilpi Madan for Deccan Chronicle