A traditional Indian diet has many nutrient rich recipes that take care of all the macro nutrient (carbohydrate, protein and fat) and micronutrient (vitamin and mineral) needs of the body if one incorporates a wide variety of dishes as per the season and region, in their daily diet.
But in present times, eating habits have undergone a drastic change and coupled with the stress of modern life, we can see many nutrient deficiencies as a result of diet and lifestyle. As a result, this has an impact on leading a happy and wholesome life.
One such deficiency that is prevalent in India is iron deficiency and statistics show that nearly one in every two women may have iron deficiency related symptoms like paleness or hairfall or fatigue. Unusual or excessive fatigue or brittle nails or shortness of breath or feeling dizzy or experiencing light headedness are some of the most commonly experienced symptoms of iron deficiency.
A good and balanced diet can help you get sufficient iron in your diet. Infact my haemoglobin count has always been normal and I attribute this to the nutrition I get from my food. Even throughout my pregnancy I was able to maintain normal haemoglobin levels by having a good diet.
Haemoglobin, Hb or Hgb found in the red blood cells contains iron and carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Low haemoglobin levels can lead to anaemia and this is why it’s crucial to get a sufficient supply of the micronutrient mineral iron to maintain good health.
A vegetarian diet can also be a good source of iron. Spinach and other green vegetables, beans and legumes, tofu, wheatgerm, pumpkin, whole potatoes with skin, dried fruits and nuts like walnuts, almonds, cashews, raisins, dates, figs, seeds of pumpkin, watermelon and sesame seeds, wholegrains like amaranth, quinoa and spelt are just some examples of iron rich foods.
Drumsticks are a very good source of vitamins A, C, K, B and are also rich in iron, calcium and magnesium. If you have a mild iron deficiency and incorporate drumsticks in your diet 3 to 4 times a week, you will be cured as your haemoglobin levels will be restored. Drumsticks also offer a host of other benefits like bone, skin and hair health, is very good for the digestive system and helps to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure.
Drumsticks can be cooked in many delectable ways and are popularly cooked in sambar, aviyal and many other preparations. My mother makes a delicious drumstick curry and I have relished eating it with rice since childhood. This curry is made with two iron rich sources-drumstick and coconut, making it very healthy!
Drumstick Coconut Curry is fairly easy to prepare with just a few ingredients. You can eat this curry with rice, plain rotis or chapatis and it tastes equally delicious when eaten in any of these ways.
While the symptoms of iron deficiency can be quite daunting, iron levels can be easily and quickly restored with the right supplement. If your iron levels are a little below normal, it can be restored with an iron rich diet. But if the iron levels are very low, then a supplement might be required. Your doctor would be the best person to prescribe it for you. The best part is that with the right supplement, iron levels can be quickly restored and you can maintain the normal levels with a good diet. So make sure you keep track of your diet and if you experience any symptoms relating to iron deficiency, make sure you tackle it with the right choice to get back to health soon.
Disclaimer: This post has been sponsored by Livogen.
Drumstick Coconut Curry Recipe
A delicious curry with coconut as a base, with tangy kokum and seasoned with mustard seeds and curry leaves
7 to 8 drumsticks, cut into 4” or 5” long pieces
4 to 5 dried or wet kokum leaves*
2 tbsp coriander seeds
3 to 4 dry chilies (or 3/4th tsp red chili powder)
1 cup fresh coconut
1 ½ to 2 tsp salt or to taste
2 tbsp oil
¾ tsp mustard seeds
a sprig of curry leaves
½ tsp asafetida
In a pan put in the cut drumstick pieces, cover with enough water to cover them and cook until they are done.
Wash and soak the kokum leaves in a bowl of water. If you are using dry kokum, then soak it in hot water.
While the drumstick is cooking, put in a tsp of oil into a pan and roast the coriander seeds until it emits a beautiful aroma. Make sure you don't blacken the seeds. Into the same pan put in the dry chilies and roast them until they turn crisp.
In a blender, put in the coconut, the roasted coriander seeds and dry chilies and blend to a smooth paste.
Add this ground paste into the cooked drumstick. Put in the soaked kokum pieces along with the cooking water. Put in the salt and allow this to come to a boil.
In a wok or kadhai, heat the oil and put in the mustard seeds before the oil starts to smoke. After the mustard seeds splatter, put in the curry leaves and the asafetida and pour the hot seasoning into the boiling curry. Mix well and serve hot with rice or roti.