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MEDICINAL VALUE OF TULSI

In Ayurveda, Tulsi is considered as the most important plant. Tulsi leaves are used in preparing many ayurvedic medicnes. Indian tradition still follows the custom of keeping tulsi plant at home as it is considered to be auspicious. There are huge number of benefits of tulsi leaves and the list goes on and on. Before listing the benefits, we must know that there are two types of tulsi : 1) Ram Tulsi and 2) Shyam Tulsi. It is easy to differentiate between these two types mainly by their colour. Ram tulsi is light green in colour whereas Shyam Tulsi is dark green in colour, at times it appears as black also. Hence it is called as Shyam Tulsi and it has more medicinal value compared to the other one. Following is a small list for using tusli leaves for different ailments :

To get maximum benefit, ensure that you use only Shyam Tulsi.
1. Fever and indigestion is a common health issue during monsoon. Extract the juice from 10-15 tulsi leaves. Add little honey or jaggery to this juice. Have this regularly to get rid of fever and indigestion.

2. In case of high fever, boil 15-20 tulsi leaves in 1glass of water till water becomes half in quantity. Now consume this water 3-4 times a day by adding little jaggery to it.

3. Women suffer from leukorrhea which is commonly referred to as white discharge which can keep occurring regularly. To get rid of this problem completely, add rock sugar (desikhaand in Hindi) to 1 tsp of tulsi juice and have this several times a day.

4. For people who suffer from urine problem, especially the senior citizens it is best suggested to drink tusli water several times a day. Boil 15-20 tulsi leaves in 2 glasses of water and strain it. Keep consuming this to get relief from urine problem.

5. Mothers can give children tulsi juice regularly who suffer with abdominal worms problem. Regular intake of raw tulsi juice helps to get rid of worm.

6. Tulsi is also beneficial in beauty treatments. To stay away from dandruff, apply tusli juice on the scalp and leave for half an hour and wash with plain tap water. To get rid of pimples and blemishes, apply tusli juice on the face evenly. Wash with plain tap water after 15-20 minutes.

There are many more benefits of tulsi. Shyam tulsi helps to overcome atleast 25-30 diseases. So let’s go back to our roots and try out these nani ka nuskhas and get rid of all ailments.
Let’s Make Our Lives Healthier And Happier !

ARE CHAAT HEALTHY ?

Chaat is a savoury snack that originated in India. Typically it is served at roadside tracks from stalls or food carts . With its origins in Uttar Pradesh, India, chaat has become immensely popular in the rest of the Indian subcontinent. Most chaats originated in some parts of Uttar Pradesh, and some are results of cultural syncretism – for instance, pav bhaji (bread/bun with cooked and mashed vegetables) and bhel puri and sevpuri, which originated in Mumbai.

When hunger strikes, people tend to eat almost anything. Especially during evening time, common with people working in office, they just forget about the calories and eat whatever is available in order to satiate their hunger. Street foods like samosa, chaat and golgappa, etc are the common things which people prefer to eat during evening time. Then there is a tendency to skip dinner as the hunger pang is satisfied. But most importantly the question is “ are these foods healthy”? Well, it is true that chaats are very tasty and appetizing and not that unhealthy too. Whether a chaat is healthy or not, depends where you are eating.

Chaats can be healthy too, if you are making it with healthy ingredients or eating at good place where it is prepared and served in hygienic manner. But, if you are on a weight loss regime then, you are responsible for each bite you eat. Though chaats are prepared with the mixture of various ingredients yet, they are not so unhealthy to eat. But, there are Chaats like Aloo tikki chaat and samosa chaat can be unhealthy especially for the people who are trying to lose weight. The fact that more of oil is required for these preparations.

The good thing about the Indian chaats are that you get varieties to choose from. There are variant varieties of chaats that are popular all over India. Here’s a recipe of papri chaat which one can make at home easily. The home made chaat is much healthier as we are using fresh ingredients mainly curd and potato, onions and tomatoes which actually adds to the nutritive value.

ONE STOP SOLUTION: SUGARCANE

I remember during my school days, sugarcane vendor outside the school gate and we relished the big glass of sugarcane juice. That was so yummy as well as refreshing. We then started living in the era where canned and bottled juices with preservatives are available in the market. Urban population, I have observed, is not very keen to consume sugarcane juice as it is regarded as unhygienic. Though there are people who still love that big glass of sugarcane juice on the roadside. Sugarcane has loads of health benefits. Sugarcane juice will put down to shame to the other natural and artificial juice available in the market.

Do you know sugarcane juice can help you reduce weight?
As sugarcane juice reduces the bad cholesterol levels in the body and has natural sugars, it helps in reducing weight. It is high in soluble fibre which aids in shedding weight.

Do you want your digestive system in good shape?
If yes, then you must start drinking sugarcane juice as it helps to prevents stomach infections. It is also considered to be particularly useful in treating the problem of constipation. Since it has high potassium level, it is good for the well being of the digestive system.

Do you know that sugarcane juice may prevent cancer?
Sugarcane juice is alkaline in nature. Due to its high concentration of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and manganese, it helps prevent disease like cancer. Cancer cells cannot survive in an alkaline environment. Thus it helps in fighting various types of cancer such as prostate and breast cancer.
The health benefits of sugarcane juice goes on and on. So if you have stopped consuming sugarcane juice, then start again and find the difference in your health. Remember “Health is an Investment” ! Take good care !

UNLOCKING BENEFITS OF INDIAN SPICES

(Part 1)

Indian Spices are well known all over the world. In ancient times, many battles were fought to gain control of this land of astonishing spices. To have the possession of spices like black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, turmeric were considered to be a symbol of nobility and high social status during that time. Earlier generation people had the knowledge of their medicinal as well as the taste enhancing properties. Today the medicinal branches like Ayurveda, Homeopathy and many traditional treatment methods make use of the magical powers of spices, condiments and herbs in curing a lot of diseases. Below are the unlocking benefits of some of the Indian spices which we all must know.

TURMERIC :
Turmeric are of 2 types : Raw (Curcumin) and dry. Curcumin is the amazing active compound that is found within the turmeric root. It has long been used as treatment in traditional Ayurvedic medicines. It’s both antioxidant-rich and a fantastic daily supplement for promoting a healthy inflammation response in the body. To get the full benefits of curcumin however, it must come with the right support ingredients. It boosts digestion, provides relief from stomach problems.
Dry turmeric powder has been a powerful spice since ages in Indian Kitchen. It is an antiseptic and has an incredible healing properties as well. It provides relief from arthritis pain, aids digestion, boosts immunity and detoxifies the liver.

CORRIANDER
Corriander provides amazing taste to Indian cuisine. Apart from adding mouth watering flavour to the dishes, it also increases the nutritive value of the food. It has anti-diabetic properties and promotes insulin growth. Corriander seeds help in reducing bad cholesterol and promotes good cholesterol in the body. These are rich in copper, zinc, iron and other minerals that increases RBCs and improves heart health. It also helps in increasing metabolism.

AMCHUR
Amchur is dried mango powder made out of dried unripe green mangoes. Amchur is usually used when mangoes are out of season. Though it is used to add tanginess to the food and also as substitute for lemon, but amchur has lot of health benefits too. It contains many nutrients like Vitamin A, C and E and antioxidants and also used in preparing many ayurvedic medicines. It aids in digestion and ensures good bowel movement and improves digestive system. It also improves eye sight as it has important elements like vitamin A & vitamin E which are important for our eyes. It may also help to improve cardiovascular health

ACHAAR : STRAIGHT FROM NANI’S RASOI

No meal is complete without a spoonful of the sweet, sour, spicy and mouth watering achaar (pickle). Right from selecting the raw materials to carefully preparing the ingredients, from assembling the pickles to adding spices and then waiting for the pickle to be finally ready, grandmothers take great care while making pickles. A lasting memory of childhood vacations is that of helping our grandmothers make āchār. Those big ceramic jars filled to the brim with fresh pickles sitting under the sun on terraces evoke memories of carefree holidays.

Pickles are created by immersing fresh fruits or vegetables in an acidic liquid or saltwater brine until they are no longer considered raw or vulnerable to spoilage. When we think of pickles, mango & lemon commonly come to mind. During pickling process lactic microbial organisms develop, which turn the naturally occurring sugars of foods into lactic acid. In turn, the environment becomes acidic quickly, making it impossible for any spoiling bacteria to multiply.

Pickles in India are of three basic types: those preserved in vinegar; those preserved in salt; and those preserved in oil. In India, oil is a popular medium used for pickling. The process of pickling is one of the best ways to preserve a food item. Once preserved, the pickled food will not need refrigeration, and so it travels well, making it ideal for long-distance journeys.
Here’s a unique pickle recipe. We have tasted lemon, mango, vegetable, mirchi and so on pickles. But date pickle is very rare and it is the very easy to make at home. Even those who are not good at culinary skills will be able to make this achaar. Try out this . I am sure you will love it.

DATES PICKLE

Ingredients

Apple Cider Vinegar – ½ Cup
Seedless dates – 12-15
Black peppercorns – 15-16
Garam Masala – ½ tsp
Cloves – 2-3
Green Cardamom – 2-3

Method
Wash dates thoroughly. If the dates are with seeds then remove the seeds. Take a bowl and pour apple cider vinegar and remaining ingredients. Mix it thoroughly. Cover it with a lid for hours. Now again mix it properly. Transfer it in a glass bottle.

Enjoy pickled dates. “Let’s make life healthier and happier !”

The writer is Nutritionist and Founder of AAKANKSHA : Desire For Wellness. Contact : 7021648382; http://www.aakankshadfw.com; Follow on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest.

YEAR ENDS AND BEGINS ! HOPE, HEALTH AND POSITIVITY

We hope you leave all the unhealthy habits back in 2019 and enter 2020 with hope, health and positivity.
Nutritious winter fruits are available now in abundance. Market is filled with good quality of oranges and grapes. Use of these fruits in daily diet will help you to get rid of different health problems and at the sametime these will provide a good amount of micro nutrients to your body. You will not require to take any vitamin supplement.

Orange : Oranges are low in calories and full of nutrients, they promote clear, healthy, skin and can help to lower risk for many diseases as part of an overall healthy and varied diet. The fiber, potassium, vitamin C in oranges all support heart health. Studies have shown that type 1 diabetics who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels. The antioxidant vitamin C, when eaten in its natural form (as in an orange) or applied topically, can help to fight skin damage caused by the sun and pollution, reduce wrinkles and improve overall skin texture. Vitamin C plays a vital role in the formation of collagen, the support system of your skin.

Grapes : Grapes are packed with nutrients especially vitamin C and K. Grapes are high in a number of powerful antioxidant compounds. Grapes contain high levels of beneficial plant compounds, which may help protect against certain types of cancer. Resveratrol, one of the compounds found in this fruit, has been well-studied in terms of cancer prevention and treatment. Compounds found in grapes may help protect against high cholesterol levels by decreasing cholesterol absorption.

Tomatoes : Tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. Tomatoes are a good source of several vitamins and minerals:

Vitamin C. This vitamin is an essential nutrient and antioxidant. Potassium is an essential mineral and is beneficial for blood pressure control and heart disease prevention. Vitamin K1, also known as phylloquinone, is important for blood clotting and bone health. Folate (vitamin B9). One of the B vitamins, folate is important for normal tissue growth and cell function. It’s particularly important for pregnant women.

NUTRITIONAL FACTS OF GRAPES

Grapes are a type of fruit that grow in clusters of 15 to 300, and can be crimson, black, dark blue, yellow, green, orange, and pink. “White” grapes are actually green in color, and are evolutionarily derived from the purple grape. Mutations in two regulatory genes of white grapes turn off production of anthocyanins, which are responsible for the color of purple grapes.
“Grapes are a good source of vitamin K and many of the B vitamins”. They are also a good source of fiber and are relatively low in calories.

The richest concentrations of nutrients and antioxidants, including resveratrol, are in the grape skin and seeds, and most scientific studies of grapes have looked at extracts of these parts. Grapes contain powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols. These are thought to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. One of these is resveratrol. It is found in the skins of red grapes. Another natural anti-inflammatory that occurs in grapes is the flavonoid quercetin. Studies have suggested that this, too, may help prevent or slow cancer growth.

1) Heart health
The polyphenols in grapes, such as resveratrol have antioxidant, lipid-lowering, and anti-inflammatory properties that helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. They may achieve this by preventing platelet build-up and reducing blood pressure and the risk of irregular heart rhythms. Grapes contain fiber and potassium, both of which support heart health.

2) Blood pressure
Increasing potassium intake helps to reduce the negative effects of too much sodium in the diet. Grapes have a high potassium content. This suggests they can help reduce the effects of sodium in people with high blood pressure. Fiber is important for maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system, including heart health and blood pressure. Grapes are a good source of fiber.

3) Constipation
Grapes contain water and fiber. These can help people stay hydrated, keep bowel movements regular, and reduce the risk of constipation.

4) Allergies
Because of the anti-inflammatory effects of quercetin, consumption of grapes can help to alleviate symptoms of allergies, including runny nose, watery eyes.

5) Diabetes
In 2013, results of a study published in the BMJ suggested that certain fruits, but not juices, may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in adults. During the study, which involved 187,382 participants and lasted 22 years, 6.5 percent of the participants developed diabetes. However, those who consumed three servings a week of grapes had a 7-percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes compared with those who did not.
The vitamins, minerals, and fiber in grapes make them a healthful way to satisfy a sweet tooth.

6) Eye health
Grapes contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help maintain eye health. They neutralize unstable molecules known as free radicals. In this way, they reduce oxidative stress and damage to the retina, and help prevent cataracts and other conditions.

FRUIT COMBO TO FUEL YOUR DAY

Fruits truly is the perfect food. It’s the easiest for our bodies to digest, and our system has to do almost nothing to break it down. All fruit is good for you, but we should eat it when it’s ripe to properly digest it and use it for energy. Think of all the colors, shapes, and textures of fruit as different antioxidants and phytonutrients to load up on. And then include a variety of fruits in your diet to take advantage of all the benefits they have to offer — from fighting colds and warding off inflammation to making your skin glow and your hair shiny.

Fruit is recognized as a good source of vitamins and minerals, and for their role in preventing vitamin C and vitamin A deficiencies. People who eat fruit as part of an overall healthy diet generally have a reduced risk of chronic diseases. The nutrients in fruit are vital for health and maintenance of your body. The potassium in fruit can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Potassium may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and help to decrease bone loss as you age. Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells.

 Eating a diet rich in fruit can reduce risk for stroke, other cardiovascular diseases and type-2 diabetes.
 A fruit containing eating pattern is part of an overall healthy diet and can protect against certain cancers.
 Fruit helps maintain optimum health due to the health promoting phytochemicals it contains.
 On an average, one to 2-1/2 cups of fruit are recommended each day for a person to stay healthy and keep himself away from diseases.

Seasonal fruits taste awesome! Since they are freshly collected and fruits during this period are normally found at the best rate as well. The study has shown that all the fruits available during the seasons have high nutritional value when consumed in the season. Now with advanced farming techniques, all fruits all available throughout the year. But it’s always advisable to consume fruits according to the season.

Do something amazing for your health and indulge in one of the delicious fruit plates. Here’s a unique fruit custard recipe which your family can relish. The reason it’s unique is it does neither have custard powder nor refined sugar. Right from the kid in at your home to elderly people who are diabetic or if anyone facing weight issues can have this fruit custard without feeling guilty. One bowl of fruit custard will provide you with all the necessary nutrients required by your body naturally. So try this deliciously healthy fruit custard.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN VIBRATION AND FOOD

Food is not just fuel for our body, it is as alive as we are. Food manufacturers are not concerned about the vibrations of their products. Lot of people go the restaurants, bars . They sit and chat and at the same time have little snack, tea, coffee. Many people do not even think about food when they are eating. They just eat as they are hungry. They are least interested in knowing what they are eating. On the other hand, there are also people who like to explore different tastes. Few realise the importance of understanding the qualities of food and the nature of their own living habits.

Cooking is an art and, at the same time, science. The art form involves an emotional relationship between the food and the cook. Cleaning, cutting and chopping food are activities that can be performed with a sense of rhythm and relaxation. Cooking can be enjoyed as much as any other art. The science of cooking requires knowledge of cooking temperatures and food properties, food combinations and medicinal applications. In India, there is a tradition of not tasting food before it has been offered to God. Indian people are able to cook food that contains everything in right proportions. This can be called as “cooking by feeling”. Food provides higher energy if it is cooked as an offering (Prasad) to God.

Though vibrations are subtle and their effect on physiology and thus on human psyche, is profound and undeniable. Body chemistry is directly influenced by food input – “you are what you eat”. Hence understanding the relationship between vibrations and food is very important. Making food for God to taste first, then accepting and eating it as Prasad, cooking food in proper state of mind, meditating before eating. These practices helps the cook to remain clean and pure, both physically and mentally. This imparts high vibration to the food. As eating is worship; it should not take place in an unsuitable atmosphere. Also food should not be cooked or eaten in panic. Food when cooked in spirit of holiness, the vibrations in the form of subtle charges blend into the food and make it taste divine.

WINTER VEGETABLES IN INDIA

Best vegetables are grown during winter. These vegetables should be included in our daily diet to get the maximum nutritional benefit out of it. All the vegetables contain micro nutrients, that is, vitamins and minerals. These vitamins and minerals are required by our body at the right amounts. Hence choosing the seasonal vegetables in the right quantity is the best option. All these vegetables have health benefits if consumed regularly. Some of which are discussed below :
1. Cauliflower : It is a cruciferous vegetable that is naturally high in fiber and B-vitamins. It provides antioxidants and phytonutrients that can protect against cancer. It also contains fiber to enhance weight loss and digestion, choline that is essential for learning and memory, and many other important nutrients.
2. Bell Pepper : Red, Orange, and Yellow Bell Peppers are full of great health benefits—they’re packed with vitamins and low in calories! They are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. Bell Peppers also contain a healthy dose of fiber, folate, and iron.
3. Spinach : Spinach is rich in vitamins A, C and K, magnesium, iron and manganese. Eating this leafy green veggie may benefit eye health, reduce oxidative stress and reduce blood pressure levels among other health functions.
4. Fenugreek : Fenugreek has benefits for lowering blood sugar levels, boosting testosterone, and increasing milk production in breastfeeding mothers. Fenugreek may also reduce cholesterol levels, lower inflammation, and help with appetite control, but more research is needed in these areas.
5. Green Peas : Green peas contain a decent amount of heart-healthy minerals, such as magnesium, potassium and calcium. Diets high in these nutrients may be helpful for preventing high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.
6. Carrot : Carrots are a particularly good source of beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. They also have a number of health benefits. They’re a weight-loss-friendly food and have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health
Let’s make use of all these fresh and healthy winter vegetables and make winter special dish “Undhiyu”. It is a Gujarati mixed vegetable dish that is a regional speciality of Surat. Traditionally it is cooked in earthern pot. It has immense health benefits and a great source of micro nutrients.