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Naini Setalvad
Naini Setalvad


Not all white are bad


All white foods are not bad. Some of the most nutritional foods are white in colour and are absolutely essential for great health. You will be surprised to know that ghee and coconut top the list.

Ghee: Excellent for brain function, immunity and digestion, ghee has been used in ayurveda to cure various ailments for centuries. In fact, ghee lubricates the joints and even helps absorb essential vitamins like vitamin D. Ghee also helps the hormones function well. It is great for the hair and skin due to its moisturising properties. It has good quality saturated fat and is excellent for health of the brain and heart. I would recommend cooking food in cow ghee.

Coconut: Coconut, too, is an excellent nourishing food. It is great for developing brain power as well as absorbing nutrients. Khopra is famously great for the hair, skin and eyes as it lowers cholesterol, balances thyroid, improves memory, prevents Alzheimer’s and is great for various degenerative diseases and improves immunity. Prepare gravies, curries, chutneys, add it to your soup or garnish your food.

Cashew nut: Cashew nuts are very rich in magnesium and calcium. They help support our muscles and bones and keep our teeth and gums strong. An adequate intake of magnesium helps lower blood pressure, prevents heart attacks, migraine headaches as well as muscle cramps. It is good for heart patients as it has no cholesterol and for diabetics as it is low on glycemic index. Due to its zinc content, it prevents gallstones by reducing the cholesterol content of bile. This white nut is delicious and it contains zinc, which is a feel-good factor. Cashew nuts also help reduce the LDL ‘bad cholesterol’ levels. Eating a handful of cashew nuts as an evening snack is infinitely better than oily wafers or sugary biscuits.

Sesame seed: This tiny white seeds are great sources of calcium. It has plenty of fibre and hence regulates bowel movement and prevents constipation. It helps prevent colon cancer, osteoporosis (due to zinc and calcium content). It relieves migraine and PMS symptoms. Sesame seeds add a nutty taste and a delicate crunch to salads.

Banana: Bananas contain almost no fat and they are great as they lower blood pressure, prevent constipation and acidity. They produce feel-good chemicals in the body which are required in today’s stressful world. I call the banana ‘happiness in a peel’.

White pumpkin/ash gourd: This is a highly medicinal vegetable which is ideal for diabetics. Low in calories, white pumpkin acts as a diuretic, detoxifier and also lowers cholesterol. Ash gourd/white pumpkin is rich in dietary fibre, calcium and sodium making it ideal in a weight loss diet. With its alkaline nature and cooling properties, it cures many digestive problems.

White gourd: White gourd is extremely cooling and soothing for the body. It has high water content and is great for health. White gourd helps prevent constipation. It can also lower blood pressure.

Onions: There are various kinds of onions, but they have a lot in common. They are anti-aging, as they contain sulphur. Onions keep sunstrokes away and they are mucus drying, thereby, preventing colds and coughs.

Garlic: Garlic is a great spice, but not only for adding flavors. Garlic, like the onion, is part of the allium family which makes it a powerful antioxident. Garlic is also known to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels in individuals.

Sea salt: It consists of 83 trace minerals and nutrients that are absent in common table salt. It is an anti-histamine and excellent source of natural sodium.

Potato: Greatly misunderstood, potatoes contain no fat. They are, however, sources of carbohydrates. Potatoes can lower blood pressure as they contain potassium, and also tryptophan. This nutrient stimulates the production of certain feel-good chemicals in the brain.

Radish: It is one of the very low-calorie root vegetables and a very good source of anti-oxidants, electrolytes, minerals, vitamins and dietary fibre. Radish, like other cruciferous vegetables contains sulforaphane which has a proven role against prostate, breast, colon and ovarian cancers.

Sweet potato: It is high in betacarotene and, therefore, very good for the eyes and skin. It is a powerful antioxidant and has cancer fighting properties. Sweet potatoes are low in glycemic index and hence good for diabetics.

Cauliflower: Cauliflower is rich in fibre and goes well with a lot of cuisine. Cauliflowers can help fight cancers. They also have antioxidant properties, which mean they contain little soldiers which fight against the harmful free radical damage done in the body.


Milk products: Milk is a source of protein. It contains certain amino acids which are not available in plant-based foods. A small amount of milk can be very filling for a long period of time making it great for people who are on-the-go. Curd is another popularly consumed milk product. It is more easily digested than milk. It also contains trace amounts of vitamin B12, which is not available in any vegetarian food (but only mild traces. It is not enough to meet one’s daily requirements). It contains healthy gut flora due to its probiotic content.

Egg: Egg white is one of the few protein sources that can be called “complete”. It contains all the amino acids which the body does not produce. While egg yolk contains the same amount of proteins as egg white, one can have the egg white without the worrying about cholesterol.

Pomfret: Great for your heart, seafood provides the body with many essential nutrients which keep us running smoothly, including iodine, selenium, zinc and potassium. It helps boost your brainpower and is also a great source of protein

Bombay duck: Builds and repair body tissues. Bombay ducks are high on protein. And, when they are dried, the protein content increases. It reduces risks of heart strokes due to the substantial level of Omega-3. They help prevent the buildup of cholesterol that can clog arteries, leading to heart attacks and strokes.

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Topics : #nutrition

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