Functional Foods of the Indian Subcontinent

Functional Foods of the Indian Subcontinent

Jiwan S. Sidhu (Kuwait University, Kuwait) and Tasleem A. Zafar (Kuwait University, Kuwait)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 29
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5207-9.ch019


The medicinal effects of food have been recognized on the Indian subcontinent since many centuries. The current thinking on functional foods can easily be applied to many traditional Indian subcontinent foods as these are based on whole grains, legumes, oilseeds, nuts, vegetables, fruits, spices, condiments, and many fermented milk products. Consumption of such foods on a regular basis not only provides most of nutrients in adequate quantities but also improve gastrointestinal health, boost immune functions, improve bone health, lower cholesterol, oxidative stress, reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, various types of cancers, neurodegenerative diseases, ill-effects of obesity, and metabolic syndrome. Various chemical and biological components present in Indian subcontinent traditional foods, such as phytochemicals, dietary fiber, oligosaccharides, lignins, omega-3 fatty acids, phenolics, flavonoids, carotenoids, and probiotic bacteria play an important role in improving the health of consumers of these foods. The history of Indian traditional foods has been adequately reviewed by Srinivasan (2011). The traditional food habits of each specific area of the Indian subcontinent have been influenced by the culture and the availability of locally grown food materials. Some of the important functional foods of India subcontinent will be briefly discussed in this chapter.
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Functional Foods From Various Commodities

Under this section, functional foods based on cereals, legumes, milk and milk products, oilseeds, herbs and condiments, fruits, vegetables, nuts and some miscellaneous commodities will be briefly discussed.

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