All those who know me know how much I love Rujuta Diwekar, celebrity nutritionist’s commonsense wisdom about food and exercise. I have been hooked on to her writing and have read and own all her books to date. Her last book Don’t lose out, workout was reviewed on my blog earlier and has changed the way I handle my pre and post-workout nutrition, the benefits of which I am noticing.
So when I came to know about the latest book, Indian Superfoods, I was super thrilled. For the longest time, I have been feeling annoyed that our own indigenous food is often downplayed, even ostracized unless someone in the West validates it. Look at turmeric lattes or the sudden liking for millets of late. So we hanker after the ‘healthy’ olive oil, quinoa, goji berries and so on and so forth, paying through our noses and expecting them to do miracles for us while our own cold pressed mustard oil, peanut oil, native fruits languish in neglect and eventually stop being cultivated. Not only that, we also hear statements that demonize food we have grown up eating and relishing. Can that really be bad? I mean mangoes, custard apple and bananas are fattening?
When I did a couple of nutrition courses, I understood that those in the West are struggling with the imbalanced diet that they’ve followed being so protein heavy and almost banishing carbohydrates that our body needs as fuel to function optimally. We in India, have always worked with whole grains across a wide spectrum of combinations, multiple and delightful ways of cooking vegetables and loving our pulses. We need to respect our native food wisdom and truly understand how it is extremely balanced and also what our bodies are suited to eating and crave for as well.
Food is much more than calories or ingredients. Food is soul nourishing; food is memories; food is your parent’s love on a plate; food is celebration; food is satiation. As someone who enjoys cooking, eating and reading about food and who delves deep within for her own mother’s cooking for inspiration I completely get where she comes from.
It, of course, needs someone like Rujuta to write about Indian Superfoods to hopefully make us take pride in our native produce which are powerhouses of nutrients and also to dispel common myths associated with some of them. That she goes into the science of it shows she knows what she is talking about. Some of the stuff that she says will dispel deeply-entrenched myths like ghee is bad for you or frying in ghee is actually good or that God forbid, sugar is good for you! Read the book and you will understand. Some of us may even brush it off as being wrong so deep are our food myths these days. Of course, all diet is about balance even with superfoods.
Eating local is eating right. Eating the food you’ve grown up eating made fresh at home can only hold you in good stead. Let us not isolate food as fattening/healthy/unhealthy. Let us understand that all calories are not equal. Those from good sources are life enriching.
What stands out for me is that like her other books, she talks so much sense. And when something makes sense you know that it is right.
I read the book in 2 hours flat and would suggest that you own it so that you can benefit from its wisdom. It is written in Rujuta’s easy style peppered with humour. There are boxes with anecdotes that will make you nod your head as they make so much sense. Overall, a useful, sensible read.
You can buy it on Flipkart here.
This is not a paid review. I bought the book with my own money.