Why South Indian foods are the Healthiest

Why South Indian foods are the healthiest

Well, I’m a North Indian staying in South India and let me tell you, I love South Indian food. The food native to South Indian states is more like my comfort food. I totally feel like having Sambar rice every single day with lightly sautéed vegetables or a fried fish or boiled egg. I love finishing my palate off with a bowl of rasam.

There have been numerous studies that prove the goodness of South Indian dishes over other dishes from the rest of the parts of India. However, let me clarify that each and every dish from around India has its own health benefits. The foods from North India include a lot of lentils and pulses and are heavy on chicken and mutton that makes it a high protein cuisine of all times. But these dishes use a lot of oil that is again a bit unhealthy for the stomach. On the contrary, South Indian cuisine is light and healthy on the stomach for the fact being that the dishes are mostly steamed or cooked in minimum oil.


Here are Some Popular South Indian Dishes:

  • Idli
  • Dosa
  • Appam
  • Neer dosa
  • Idiyappam
  • Utthapam
  • Puttu
  • Kudumulu or Undrallu
  • Dibba Rotti or the Andhra Fluffed Dosa
  • Ponganalu
  • Ragi Ball


The side dishes served with such healthy options are either sambar or rasam. These are very humble dishes that form a core part of the South Indian diet. Now tamarind is an ingredient that is widely used in many South Indian side dishes.

Medical experts have also vouched for the fact that sambar because of its mix of healthy spices has the ability to prevent colon cancer. Sambar powder consisting of coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, turmeric rhizomes, black pepper, curry leaves, cumin seeds, and asafetida has anti-tumorigenic properties that prevent the growth of cancer cells and the formation of a tumor.

Dr. S.V.S.S. Prasad, an oncologist, says that sambar is a very wholesome dish with a variety of veggies and healthy spices. “The properties of the spices used helps bowel movement thereby reducing the risk of colon cancer. Sambar is not a spicy dish and therefore doesn’t affect the lining of the intestine and actually prevents the development of dimethylhydrazine, which is a factor of colon cancer.”

It has been proved that North India has many instances of colon cancer because their diet is rich in wheat that leads to constipation. But The South Indian food that is prevalent in rice and veggies curry using ingredients like turmeric, fenugreek seeds, and vegetables like carrot, bitter gourd, ladies finger, drumstick, and tomatoes help in good digestion clearing bowel movement and preventing colon cancer.

Dr. T.P.S. Bhandari, an oncologist, says, “Seventy percent of colon cancer cases are in north India. Turmeric, which is an active ingredient in sambar powder, has anti-cancerous properties. It prevents the formation of free radicals which can be carcinogenic. South Indian curries and especially sambar, is cooked using primarily spices. In North India, we see more grilled food which has tar and free radicals due to the manner of its preparation.”



There have been celebrities who love South Indian food as it is light on the stomach and easily digestible. Deepika Padukone has time and again admitted her love for idli sambar combo.

Are you a fan of South Indian food too? Let us know in the comments section below.


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