The Health Benefits of Traditional Indian Snacks: A Nutritional Guide

traditional Indian snacks

The Health Benefits of Traditional Indian Snacks: A Nutritional Guide

The diversity of Indian cuisine is what makes it so popular. The variety of products, spices, and recipes indigenous to India make its cuisine one of the healthiest in the world. However, Indian Food has recently come to be linked with high-sugar, high-carbohydrate dishes that might contribute to elevated cholesterol. 

Traditional Indian food, on the other hand, is not only nutritious but also delicious, with numerous health benefits. Indian food aids in immunity, brain function, and a variety of other bodily functions.

Let's take a small tour to discover how these traditional snacks may be both delicious and nourishing, contributing to your healthier lifestyle.

Health Benefits Of Traditional Indian Food

benefits of Indian snacks

Traditional Indian snacks have various health advantages, making it a popular choice among nutritionists. For example, it is high in a variety of natural ingredients that supply essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fibre. 

This can help with digestion as well as overall health. Spices such as turmeric, cumin, and coriander not only add flavour but also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant characteristics that can help fight chronic diseases.

Indian food stresses a well-balanced diet rich in lentils, beans, and whole grains, which provide a consistent source of energy and aid in weight management. Additionally, herbs and spices such as ginger and garlic can enhance immunity and aid in the battle against infections. Probiotics in yoghourt-based recipes promote gut health.

Top 7 Traditional Indian Snacks

Murukku 

Nutritional Value

Serving Size: 1 ounce (about 28 grams)

Calories: 150-160 calories

Total Fat: 10-12 grams

Saturated Fat: 2-4 grams

Carbohydrates: 12-14 grams

Protein: 2-3 grams

Murukku, a golden, crunchy South Indian delicacy, has a long history of flavour and tradition. This time-honoured dessert is made of rice flour, urad dal flour, and aromatic spices. 

It is deep-fried in cold pressed oils other than refined oils to absorb the nutrients present in the oil. It's also an instant mood booster because of its carb-rich goodness, which provides a quick energy boost. This snack has a special place in South Indian culture, making tea time more enjoyable and nostalgic.  

Samosa

traditional snacks of India

Nutritional Value

Serving Size: 60 grams (medium sized)

Calories: 100-150 calories

Total Fat: 3-6 grams

Saturated Fat: Less than 1 gram

Carbohydrates: 15-20 grams

Protein: 2-4 grams

Fibre: 1-3 grams

Sodium: Varies depending on the recipe and filling

The samosa, a popular snack, elegantly combines history and flavour. It has centuries-old roots, and its preparation has been passed down through generations. This scrumptious deep-fried pastry is often filled with a tasty mixture of spiced potatoes, peas, and sometimes meat. 

While deep-frying is not the healthiest option, you can now opt for baked samosas which have the combination of vegetables and spices that makes it a wonderful indulgence. Baked Samosas, served with chutneys, are an essential element of Indian culture and a great comfort dish.

Khakhra

Nutritional Value

Calories: 40-60 calories

Total Fat: 1-2 grams

Saturated Fat: Less than 1 gram

Carbohydrates: 7-9 grams

Dietary Fibre: 1-2 grams

Protein: 1-2 grams

Sodium: Usually low, but it can vary depending on the manufacturer

Khakhra, a classic Indian flatbread, combines rich heritage with healthy goodness. It comes from the western state of Gujarat and is created with wheat flour, spices, and ghee before being expertly roasted till crisp. 

You can also make Khakhra from different flours like whole wheat flour, jowar and bajra flour, chickpea flour (besan),and rice flavour, and ofcourse the choice of flour you prefer to use affects the flavour. You can season this snack with ingredients like sesame seeds, chilli, cumin and ghee.

They also come in a variety of flavours like cream with onion or tomato which are great options for those of you who prefer them.

This makes it not only a tasty snack but also a healthier one, especially when coupled with chutneys or pickles. Khakhra's continued popularity demonstrates its timeless appeal in Indian culture as a satisfying, guilt-free indulgence.

Flavoured Chana

traditional snacks of India

Nutritional Value

Serving Size: 164 grams

Calories: 269

Protein: 14.5 grams

Carbohydrates: 45 grams

Dietary Fibre: 12.5 grams

Sugars: 8 grams

Fat: 4 grams

Saturated Fat: 0.4 grams

Monounsaturated Fat: 1.5 grams

Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.5 grams

Flavoured chana is a popular snack in India, that seamlessly blends heritage with flavour. They are normally made by seasoning the channa with cumin, coriander and salt and then roasting them to release a blast of flavour.

They are a rich source of protein, fibre and are known to aid in the development of muscles and improve digestive health. Chickpeas is also known to regulate blood sugar levels and prevent the risks of heart diseases.

Dhokla

traditional snacks of India

Nutritional Value

Serving Size: 100 grams

Calories: 150-200 calories

Total Fat:4-6 grams

Saturated Fat: Less than 1 gram

Carbohydrates: 25-30 grams

Dietary Fibre: 2-3 grams

Protein: 5-7 grams

Sodium: Varies depending on the salt content and the addition of other seasonings

Popular traditional Indian snacks like dhokla are prized for their distinct flavours and nutritional advantages. Made from fermented gram flour, dhokla is a high-protein, low-calorie food. 

It facilitates digestion and may be useful in managing weight. This snack is light and nutrient-dense. For those looking for a tasty, well-balanced snack that doesn't compromise on health, this is an excellent option.

Chikki

traditional snacks of India

Nutritional Value

Serving Size: 1 piece (20 grams approx)

Calories: 100-120 calories

Total Fat: 5-7 grams

Saturated Fat: Less than 1 gram

Carbohydrates: 10-12 grams

Dietary Fibre: 1-2 grams

Sugars: 7-9 grams

Protein: 2-3 grams

Chikki is a delicious Indian food that combines heritage with nutrition. This confection is produced by combining jaggery  with roasted nuts such as peanuts or sesame seeds. It delivers a rapid energy boost and is high in critical nutrients, making it a popular choice for hikers and sportspeople.

This snack contains iron and is mostly  during the winters; it also keeps you feeling full and the sesame does aid in providing warmth.

Chikki's traditional preparation dates back centuries, with regional variations imparting a distinct flavour to this time-honoured recipe. Its sweet, crunchy texture and cultural importance make it a popular snack in India, underscoring the value of food in conserving a legacy.

Take away 

Traditional Indian snacks not only tantalise the taste buds but also offer a wealth of health benefits rooted in centuries of culinary wisdom. From the anti-inflammatory spices to the protein-rich lentils and the goodness of ghee, these snacks exemplify the perfect blend of flavour and wellness. 

While some may not be the healthiest choices, their cultural significance and time-honoured recipes make them cherished indulgences. So, savour the rich heritage and nourishment these snacks offer, as they continue to be a testament to India's culinary legacy.

Healthy Master provides you with an array of healthy traditional snack options that positively contribute to your overall body health and well-being.

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