Home Uncategorized Indian Superfoods by Rujuta Diwekar – A Review

Indian Superfoods by Rujuta Diwekar – A Review

by Rachna

Indian Superfoods by Rujuta Diwekar

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.

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22 comments

Sulekha July 4, 2016 - 12:43 pm

Rachna, I hear you…I too am guilty of buying some of the so called healthy expensive food items like the chia seeds, quinoa 🙂 I was at the bookshop a few days back and saw this book but didn’t pick it up, bought a few other books instead. Based on your review, might get this one too. Thanks

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Rachna July 5, 2016 - 2:04 pm

I guess we all have fallen for these fads at one time or another. But slowly wisdom dawns. 🙂 This one is a useful book in my opinion.

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Vidya Sury July 4, 2016 - 1:00 pm

I like Rujuta Diwekar too and have her book Don’t lose out, work out. I would love to read this one. Nice review Rachna. Food is indeed our medicine and entirely in our control to keep ourselves healthy!

Hugs!

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Rachna July 5, 2016 - 2:03 pm

Thanks, Vidya. Yes, you would love this one too. Many of the superfoods she has mentioned, we already consume. Food is indeed our medicine.

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Alok Singhal July 4, 2016 - 4:51 pm

That’s why I like to eat what I like. Of course, avoiding the stuff that is not good altogether (like fried items).

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Rachna July 5, 2016 - 2:03 pm

Yes, we have to avoid that kind of stuff since we no longer make that namkeen at home. My mum used to make mathris, namak paare, potato wafers, papad all from scratch. We ate a lot of those while growing up and never really gained weight. Thanks for reading, Alok.

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Shailaja V July 4, 2016 - 5:43 pm

No-nonsense approach to food and nutrition sounds great to me 🙂

I have been seeing this on Amazon. Perhaps it is time to pick it up.

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Rachna July 5, 2016 - 2:00 pm

Absolutely! To me too. 😀 I think you will enjoy this book.

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pythoroshan July 4, 2016 - 6:41 pm

Thanks… will definitely hunt this book down. And I agree… I did feel a little bemused when turmeric lattes started becoming a rage recently abroad, considering how common it is for us.

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Rachna July 5, 2016 - 2:00 pm

That’s good, doc. Thanks for dropping by.

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Namrota Mazumdar July 5, 2016 - 11:43 am

I always maintain that eat what your body accepts and avoid what it rejects. Besides there is a reason why nature has offered these food to us. It’s geographical. What would suit best to the people of cold countries might not be good for tropical citizens.
P.S. I’ve been eating banana daily all my life, I’m not fat…have never been.

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Rachna July 5, 2016 - 1:59 pm

Thank you, Namrota. I agree. Same pinch. I eat banana everyday and love it. Have never been fat. 🙂 Thanks for dropping by.

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Sanch @ Sanch Writes July 5, 2016 - 1:51 pm

Nothing wrong with Indian food I reckon…I still love what my mum makes. She would of course, reduce the amount of oil and not add coconut in some things but homemade food was usually healthy. I still have my quinoa and kale but I do love Indian food.

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Rachna July 5, 2016 - 1:58 pm

Nothing wrong at all. I guess food is local for a reason. Hence, we really must start patronizing our own food. Living in Australia, quinoa and kale is fine to consume but in India they are exorbitant. Why spend so much more when you have great foods of your own here?

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George July 5, 2016 - 4:04 pm

Being a genuine foodie, I also might have to buy this book (Indian Superfoods) to explore more about the Indian food

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Rachna July 6, 2016 - 11:17 am

Sure, you will like it.

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Ravish Mani July 5, 2016 - 11:09 pm

Rachna, who know you know how much you love Rujuta Diwekar….well, is the reverse also true? Now I know how much you love her 😛

I like Indian Foods. They are tasty as well as nutritious. 🙂

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Rachna July 6, 2016 - 11:16 am

I don’t love her just her commonsense food gyan. ? So many of its are moving away from our foods sadly.

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Obsessivemom July 6, 2016 - 1:55 pm

I wasn’t a big fan of Rujuta mostly because I thought eating homemade and fresh all the time just wasn’t practical. Obviously that derives from the fact that I’m not a great cook and don’t enjoy spending much time in the kitchen. I admit though that I haven’t read much of her. I guess the fact that she was a celeb nutritionist put me off. Silly I know. She does seem to make sense. Maybe I’ll pick up this one. That other book ‘Don’t loose out, Workout’ sounds even more interesting. Going to look up your review.

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Rachna July 6, 2016 - 2:11 pm

Yes, it is not practical always. I agree. But if we can afford it, then we can always hire a cook and get stuff homemade. Both in my sister’s home and in my brother’s, they have excellent cooks. I enjoy cooking, most time. But not slogging so my recipes are generally quick and tasty. Those slog kinds are only once-in-a-while events. 🙂 With kids falling for junk, it was only imperative that I took nutrition in my hands. Both the sons also share my love for food and cooking too.

If possible read all her books. Women and the weight loss tamasha is also spot-on.

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Parul Thakur July 8, 2016 - 7:21 pm

I haven’t read any of her books and I should read. I am conscious about what I eat but I have not given to the fad of buying the stuff that trends. So my diet has all elements and I also indulge when I want to. The only thing I give myself is eating in moderation, a physical activity and not neglecting milk and fruits. I don’t have a figure to say but all I need is staying healthy. 🙂

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Rachna July 10, 2016 - 10:20 am

I am glad that you are focused on your health and nutrition and are doing so well. Her books made me understand and discover much about Indian food and l really most thank her for it. I usually don’t read such books to change what l an doing but if something is of merit, I don’t mind incorporating it in my routine.

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