Sabudana khichdi is a common food when observing a fast on auspicious occasions and festivals. Popular in states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat, it is prepared using soaked sabudana (tapioca pearls) sauteed with flavours of choice.

But, did you know that it is not just a mouthwatering delicacy, sabudana khichdi is also believed to be a superfood for women? Nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar, recently, took to Instagram to share its various benefits for “health and hormones”.

Apart from being dairy-free and gluten-free, sabudana khichdi has a host of other health benefits.

During flu and fever

According to Diwekar, it can be used to “excite taste buds, stroke appetite and accelerate recovery when recovering from flu, fever etc.” She suggested one small bowl of khichdi once the antibiotic course ends.

During menopause and endometriosis

It can be used to prevent excessive bleeding in menopause and endometriosis. For the same, consume a bowl of khichdi once a week or have it on the 4th/5th day of your period if bleeding is excessive.

For improving fertility levels

It helps “improve fertility levels when trying to get pregnant. We especially recommend it to clients who plan to freeze their eggs”. Have it twice a week at your preferred time once the injections start.

During perimenopausal phase

Consume this khichdi “if you begin to get headaches/extreme fatigue just before periods,” the nutritionist said. The best time to have it is on the day the head begins to get heavy or there’s excessive bloating.

During ovulation

Consume sabudana khichdi if you begin to see spotting around ovulation. Have a bowl around this period.

During PMS week or periods

Many women lose appetite during the week preceding their menstrual cycle or during the cycle itself. Having a bowl of sabudana khichdi around lunchtime with curd can prove useful.

Author and columnist Nandita Iyer, however, refuted the the said benefits of sabudana khichdi, calling it a “zero-nutrition food”.

“I have nothing against Sabudana. I love both the khichdi and the vada. But I eat it once in a while, knowing fully well that I’m eating a high-carb, highly processed food and make up for it by choosing better foods for the rest of the day,” Iyer wrote.

She added: “For those who don’t know how sabudana is manufactured in a factory (yeah, it’s not a natural grain). Pure starch is extracted from tapioca (cassava) root vegetable. All the fibre is discarded. This starch is then rolled into balls. Sabudana is a food product, NOT a food, let alone a superfood.”

Elucidating on the same, Karishma Shah, Integrative Nutritionist and Holistic Life Coach, said, “Yes, sabudana is a complete form of starch. But, when we eat starch with a proper proportion of fat, fibre and protein, is creates a complete meal, leading to satiety in women. A lot of women suffer from lack of satiety level when they have hormonal issues or when they reach menopause. Sabudana khichdi is suggested because it is prepared using a lot of things, making it a complete meal packaged with carbs, starch, protein, fibre etc.”

It is also great for the gut and digestive health. However, it shouldn’t be used on a daily basis, the nutritionist suggested. “It is very high in calories so eat only once or twice a week, in correct proportion.”

According to nutritionist Nmami Agarwal, one food is not enough to balance your health and hormonal issues. “Sabudana will definitely help you but it’s not enough. Along with it, you also need to consume a well-balanced diet to ensure you reap the benefits of sabudana,” she told indianexpress.com.

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