New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: The first week of September (From September 1 to 7) marks the National Nutrition Week in India. With an aim to raise awareness about the need for nutrition for the human body, the Ministry of Women and Child Development's Food and Nutrition Board had first launched the one-week event in 1982. A balanced diet with all the necessary nutrients is key to good health, hence, health experts and dieticians around the world advise people to include nutrient-rich health foods in their everyday plate. On the occasion of the National Nutrition Week 2020, here are the five essential Indian foods you must include in your diet.

1. Yoghurt/Curd or Dahi: It is the most common food available in almost every Indian household. A cup of yoghurt, known as Dahi in India, provides 49 per cent of your daily needs of calcium, a key mineral for healthy bones. Dahi contains probiotics which are extremely important for the immune system.

2. Cottage cheese: Also known as Paneer in India, is a good source of protein and calcium for vegetarians. Paneer can also help you lose weight as it contains conjugated linoleic acid, which helps in increasing the fat burning process in the body. 

3. Garlic: It is one of the key kitchen staples in India. Garlic or 'Lahsoon' is considered a natural anti-bacterial agent. Many health experts and dieticians believe that consuming garlic may help lower cholesterol and improve heart health.

4. Leafy Vegetables: Green leafy vegetables such as palak (spinach) and cabbage are among the common Indian foods consumed in most households. Palak and other leafy veggies help reduce the risk of several diseases. They are a rich source of iron, vitamin K, and other essential minerals and nutrients necessary for your body.

5. Pulses: A rich sources of protein, regular consumption of pulses may also lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Besides being a primary source of protein for vegetarians, pulses are also rich in dietary fibre and vitamins A, B, C and E. Pulses also contain crucial minerals like calcium, iron, potassium and zinc. 

Posted By: Shashikant Sharma