Healthy Eating 4 MIN READ 57 VIEWS November 24, 2021

Healthy Street Food that is Safe to Try

Healthy Street Food
Risks of Unhealthy Street Food
The Bottom Line

When thinking about street food, the first idea that usually pops up is that of an upset stomach. This is because healthy street food in India is as hard to find as a needle in a haystack. There are a plethora of offerings in India when it comes to street food but you may generally refrain from them due to health concerns. However, there are a select few street foods that are actually good for health, and they are usually hidden in plain sight. But first, take a look at the dangers of eating unhealthy street food in India.

Risks of Unhealthy Street Food

While most street food may look extremely attractive and inviting to your senses, you need to be careful about the sanitary measures the street vendors take. It’ll be great if you’re also taking the source and quality of raw materials in consideration. These are usually the top concerns of most people who prefer to eat healthy street food. You too should be concerned about this regardless of whether the street food you are eating is high or low in calories.

Unsanitary and unhygienically prepared street food can lead to several foodborne diseases like cholera, diarrhoea, typhoid, and food poisoning. It is for these reasons that you need to ensure the street food you are consuming is both healthy and hygienic. Here are the 5 healthiest street foods in India.

  1. Idli and Dosa

Idli and dosa are two of the most popular South Indian foods that are available almost throughout the country. These are healthy Indian street foods that you can eat either on your way to work, college, or school and are considered low in calories. Idli and dosa are made from a batter of rice and fermented lentils. Since fermented foods are known to be good for the gut, these two South Indian dishes are an excellent choice of healthy street food.

There are several health benefits of eating fermented foods like idli and dosa. For example, eating low calorie street food like idli and dosa helps to balance the stomach acids, reduce the burden on the pancreas during digestion, and reduce the occurrence of constipation.

  1. Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob is one of the simplest fast foods in India because it is essentially just corn slathered with lime juice and fired over an open flame. It is served with either rock salt, table salt, or traditional ‘chaat masala’. Since this is a non-oily fast food, there is no ambiguity about the quality of the oil being used and hence you can easily consume this healthy street food in India. Apart from being safe for the gut, corn on the cob also has several health benefits. 

Besides being rich in Vitamin C (an antioxidant), folate, thiamin, and phosphorus, corn is packed with dietary fibre which helps ease the digestive process. Eating corn on the cob regularly can help reduce the propensity for constipation as well.

  1. Sweet Potato Chaat

Sweet potato chaat is a simple boiled street food that is mildly spicy as well as filled with a blend of other flavours. It is available in most parts of India and is the go-to choice for most people who want to consume healthy street food on the move. This is usually because those who do eat it have experienced its health benefits like aiding digestion. Nevertheless, there still exists some myth around potatoes.

Contrary to popular belief, potatoes or even sweet potatoes do not make people fat. Sweet potatoes, in particular, are packed with nutrients like Vitamins A, B, C, Manganese, Potassium, and Iron. Moreover, they contain a significant amount of dietary fibre which is great for the gut, making it one of the healthiest street foods in India.

  1. Bhel Puri

This is one of the more filling yet less calorie-dense fast foods available in India. It is a traditional street food of Mumbai but it can be found in almost all parts of the country. Bhel Puri is made with puffed rice, spiced strands of fried gram flour (sev), freshly chopped onions, tomatoes, and coriander. In some parts of the country, lime juice is also added, making it all the more flavoursome. It is a healthy street food because all of these ingredients are quite light on the gut.

One of the biggest reasons why bhel puri should be your most favoured street food is puffed rice. Puffed rice is a great digestive stimulant as it helps to break down food into more manageable portions for your gut. This helps to keep your stomach as well as your intestine healthy. Puffed rice has also been known to promote the absorption of nutrients into the body, making it possibly the healthiest fast food on this list.

  1. Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori chicken is the only non-veg healthy street food on this list. It is considered healthy because just like corn on the cob, it is also cooked on an open flame or inside a tandoor oven. It contains a range of Indian spices that have proven effects on boosting immunity. It also contains no oil, making it healthy for the gut. Moreover, this chicken dish is available in all parts of the country, albeit with slight variations in its recipe.

However, the only thing you need to be watchful of is whether the street vendor mixes artificial colour with the marinade. When you eat tandoori chicken that is not made with artificial colours, it helps to regulate your metabolism. This is because tandoori chicken contains nutrients like selenium that helps in the digestive process.

The Bottom Line

If you think you want to switch over from the widely available unhealthy fast foods to equally readily available healthy street foods in India, then this list has all the choices you will ever need. What’s more, ensuring good gut health can also help you keep other ailments at bay. Therefore, it is best to choose carefully when you crave some delicious street food.

Read these next