Showing posts with label better health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label better health. Show all posts

Friday, 2 May 2014

Superfoods for better health- Chillis...a hot and healthy superfood! Live well...

Why chillis are considered as a superfood?
  • Weight loss 
Chillis help in reducing body weight. It is gaining acceptance and popularity as a weight loss food. They boost metabolism and help in burning fat.
  • Heart health, cholesterol lowering and blood thinning actions
This superfood improves circulation. It is thought to reduce cholesterol levels and acts as a blood thinner. Being a blood thinner it may have a role in the prevention of stroke. Chillis prevent blood clot formation also. It improves heart health being a circulation booster and cholesterol reducing agent.
  • Reduce blood sugar 
There are many studies claiming chillis ability to lower blood sugar. So few chillis a day if good for reducing blood sugar is a good thing. It may help people on medications to reduce the dosage.

Also, it has been found that the insulin surge that happens normally after a meal rich in sweets and carbs gets reduced markedly with chili consumption. This has relevance in controlling obesity and weight loss too.
  • Reduces inflammation 
So it is useful in arthritis and related disorders. It also has pain-relieving actions.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
This, as the name suggests, is an irritating disease. Chillis are supposed to be effective here.
  • Neuropathy and pain
Since it has the ability to control pain it is effective in these conditions too.
  • Anti-cancerous
Some studies found that Chillies reduce stomach cancer risk. Capsaicin, the active compound in chillis retards the growth of cancer cells. It is also claimed to limit the spread of prostatic cancer.
  • Relaxation improves mental alertness
It improves alertness and may be useful in depression. Natural endorphins are released that better our mood. Well, it literally burns so how can anyone feel blue then, lol!

Surprising that hot chillis also have become superfoods!

I thought of writing this post when I watched a chilli trail on traveler channel a week ago. They tasted different types of chillis and hot sauces across America at various outlets. I laughed seeing them doing the typical dance moves people do when they feel the burning hot sensation, a familiar scenario all over the world :) after consuming hot chillis!

But I was surprised when I stumbled upon the wonderful medicinal value of this hot stuff when I browsed the web! The chilli has to be eaten raw to obtain it's full health benefits. And it is no easy task! Be slow and steady :) and be careful too! 

Always consult your doctor before doing such things like following a health tip. Only your doctor can decide what is good for you.

Dairy products help in reducing the burn. Have a cup of yogurt or milk ready if you are going to give it a try! They are better than cold water.

I have seen in the middle east chilli kept in vinegar with a little salt; it tastes yummy along with Shawarma, a popular Arabic snack. In India too some people like chilli in vinegar. Shawarma is rolled pita bread stuffed with chicken or beef with lettuce, potato chips, and garlic paste. The chicken soaked in exotic masala is stacked layer by layer on a metal rod in Shawarma maker, slow cooked to perfection by flame and cut into small pieces to be stuffed into bread.   

Food gives us pleasure. No philosophy will get into our heads if we are hungry. Good foods better our moods. Healthy foodstuffs bring positive health. Safeguard health.

Always remember, health is priceless. 
  • Nature has provided us with many unique gifts. Some may look ugly, taste bitter but they are treasure houses of well being. Our duty is to identify those, study about them and let others also know about the good things about it.
Note: Please read the DISCLAIMER attached to this blog.

Liked this post? Well..., I have one more interesting blog, click here to check the latest updates there too😊

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Watch your health - Indian goose berry (Amla), an extremely nutritious divine fruit

Indian gooseberry (Amla, Amlaki, Nellikka, Phyllanthus Emblica) is a miracle health food that is gaining attention globally. 

This fruit has been postulated as having :
  • anti-cancerous
  • cholesterol lowering
  • blood sugar lowering
  • anti aging
  • anti-inflammatory ( so may be effective in Rheumatoid arthritis )
  • hair nourishing 
  • liver function normalizing
properties. Besides, it may retard or delay the progress of Osteoporosis. 

These pale green, spherical fruits having smooth surfaces are about 2 cm in diameter and tastes sour/bitter. Inside there is a hard seed about a centimeter diameter. The tree grows about 15 meters tall and has small leaves.   

The fruits are available almost everywhere in India. The common uses of this fruit in households in India is to crush it to prepare 'Amla juice' or to 'make pickles'. In some parts of India curry like dishes are prepared with it. I have seen in the middle east and in some parts of India, Amla being kept in honey to be enjoyed later because it is bitter to consume fresh! Amla is in great demand in manufacturing Ayurvedic medicines, the traditional system of medicine here. 'Chyavanaprasham' is a popular health tonic in Indian homes.

It has high concentrations of Vitamin C. The antioxidant action is said to be due to the presence of Ellagitannins, which also has anti-cancer, antiviral, antimicrobial, and antiparasitic activities, as well as the ability to regulate blood glucose, in addition to other substances that also has antioxidant properties.

There are many legends prevailing about the divine nature of this fruit. One says it has fallen to Earth from the spillage of Amruth, the nectar of immortality, during the 'Kheera Sagara madhana' or 'churning of the milk ocean' described in the Holy Mahabharatha, Indian epic when a fight occurred between the 'devas' and 'asuras'.

Some are of the opinion that these divine fruits were given by Lakshmi Devi, the Goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity to Sri Adi Sankaracharya, a great scholar, and sage when he prayed to alleviate the poverty of a poor brahmin woman. This fruit is a must when we prepare Vishukkani, during the time of Vishu, a festival during the new year according to the traditional calendar about which I have blogged before.

Amla is thus considered a God-given universal remedy in India and I have not heard any instances where it cannot be consumed. However, always consult your doctor before following any type of health tip. Only your doctor can decide what is good for you.

The first picture shows Amla and it's juice. With the advent of mixie/mixer/smoothie maker, it is easy to crush and smoothen it into juice. If you have the patience to remove the hard seed, well and good :) or just go on with whole fruits washed well and strain the juice once it is done. The residue may be used as 'chammanthy', mixed with a little chilly powder and salt, it is a good side dish with dosa or iddali. You may add a pinch of salt/sugar/honey to mask the bitter/sour taste of Amla juice. I prefer it plain :) All of the above are my culinary experiments, user discretion advised :)

The next picture shows Nellikka (Amla) pickle. It is called 'Nellikka', in the Malayalam language, our mother tongue. Fruits are washed thoroughly, lightly steamed and seeds removed. Some prefer to preserve the spherical shape and would like to remove the seed while enjoying the 'achar' (pickles) during meals. Different oils are used for sauteing like the gingelly or sesame. Spices like asafoetida, fenugreek, turmeric, ginger etc. are used along with chilly powder, salt and there are many recipes prevalent in India for this delicacy. It can also be done plain without oil / little salt but the shelf life will be short and you must compromise upon the taste factor but it is a definitely healthier option particularly for people with high cholesterol. Be careful if you have high blood pressure because pickles, in general, have a high concentration of common salt. 'Achar' is a common accompaniment eating rice or rice porridge in Kerala. 
  • Health is wealth! Food is medicine! God has blessed mankind with many good things but the most important He has given is health. It is our primary responsibility to safeguard this healthy state of complete physical, mental and social well being!
Note: Please read the DISCLAIMER attached to this blog.

Liked this post? Well..., I have one more interesting blog, click here to check the latest updates there too😊