Nutrify India Now has food listings in 17 Indian languages. Photo: iStock
The National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad, has just launched a health app called Nutrify India Now (iOS and Android). It aims to help people understand the nutritional composition of Indian foods and track their daily food intake and energy expenditure. With food listings in 17 Indian languages, it can be useful for pan-India users. Here is how it works:
Each time the app is tapped to open, it starts with a 7- to 8-second animation. If you have to open it multiple times a day to quickly log a meal or workout, this can be tiresome. The profile registration step, required for maintaining a personalized diet and activity diary, allows you to register a sub-user, so you can add a parent’s or child’s profile.
My nutrient requirements: Essentials like body mass index (BMI), basal metabolic rate (BMR) and recommended dietary allowance (RDA) are calculated in this section.
Nutrients in my food: This section offers nutritional information for ingredients and recipes, for a weight value input in grams. It does not allow a change in measurements to cups or spoons, so it’s not very helpful if you don’t have kitchen scales. The upside is that the database includes almost every Indian ingredient and food.
My diet and activity: One of the most important sections aims to maintain the balance sheet between calories consumed and calories burnt. The search function is slow and the addition of a single item to the daily diary takes 30 seconds to a minute. The activity recording works well, providing calories burnt for common physical activities.
Search foods by nutrients: If you want to know which green leafy vegetables have the highest iron content, you can search by the nutrient iron in leafy vegetables section. The results name the top 10 leafy vegetables in terms of iron content, with their values. These are picked from a vast database which may include foods that are not found everywhere. You can also get useful information, like the vegetables with least carbs or lentils with maximum protein.
Search foods by language: Input the name of a food in any of the 17 languages and it will give you the names in most of the other languages. This can be helpful, for instance, if you want to know the local names.
The app isn’t appealing visually, but it’s an initiative that makes available in the public domain NIN’s in-depth knowledge of Indian food. Subbarao M. Gavaravarapu, scientist E – deputy director, National Institute of Nutrition, it is working on feedback from the initial 10,000 downloads to improve the interface and rectify the glitches.