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Black Raisin Water: Blood purifier for Healthy Skin, Hair and Body

Black Raisin Water: Blood purifier for Healthy Skin, Hair and Body

Raisins. Sweet delicious black raisins. We all have had our fair share of raisin cookies, raisin bread, or just raw raisins. Some of us even use them in our cooking. We just love them! Well, you will be surprised to know that your favorite fruit is a very good natural blood purifier. It can also improve your hemoglobin level. There are many benefits of black raisins for healthy skin, hair and body. To get maximum benefits out of black raisins, you need to use them in an Ayurvedic way.Raisin Water benefits for hair skin body

First, lets look at the Benefits of Black Raisins:

1. Purifies blood

Being an excellent source of natural antioxidants, they accelerate the functions of our liver and kidney. They also eliminate damaging free radicals from our body and detoxify it completely. All these are helpful for getting a clean and clear skin.

2. Improves hemoglobin level

The iron content of black raisin is known to be much more than several other iron-rich fruits and vegetables. It means, if you make eating black raisins a habit, you can easily meet the recommended daily intake of dietary iron and keep Anemia at bay.

3. Stay away from premature aging

Black raisins are high in antioxidants as well as essential Phytochemicals. Both these compounds are capable of protecting our skin cells from potential damage caused by long-term exposure to the sun, excessive pollution, and so on. Antioxidant properties combat free radicals. It also improves our immunity and also the elasticity of our muscle fibers gets boosted.

4. Anti hair-loss

These small yet powerful fruits are full of iron, which is a vital and essential nutrient for our body. Iron helps in maintaining our circulatory system healthy. A sound circulatory system is essential for maintaining the blood circulation throughout the scalp, stimulating the hair follicles, and preventing hair fall. Along with iron it is also rich source of vitamin C that facilitates the fast absorption of the minerals and provides proper nourishment to the hair.

5. Regulates blood pressure

Raisins are rich in potassium, an effective mineral which can lower the level of sodium in our body considerably. Sodium increases our blood pressure. Add black raisins to your daily intake of fruits to stay away from cardiovascular diseases.

6. Fights against bad cholesterol

Black raisins contain no cholesterol. Researchers have proved that black raisins comprise lots of soluble fiber, which is basically an anti-cholesterol compound. It transfers LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) from our bloodstream to our liver and facilitates its elimination from our body. Polyphenols, the special class of organic antioxidant present in black raisins, also help in bringing the levels of cholesterol down.

7. Good for bone health

Besides potassium, black raisins consist of fair amount of calcium. Calcium plays a key role in maintaining the health of our skeletal system. Lack of this mineral can result in severe bone disorders like osteoporosis. However, black raisins can increase the level of calcium in our body and help us against these diseases successfully.

8. Excellent for digestive system

Raisins contain in it both soluble and insoluble fibers. High fiber foods are excellent for our digestive health. Dry fruits might have more calories than fresh fruits, but they also have a higher amount of fiber. For example, one cup of grapes has one gram of fiber while one cup of raisins has seven grams of fiber. By adding raisins to your snacks and meals, you instantly up the fiber content of your food quickly and easily.

Ayurvedic benefits black raisin water healthy skin hair body

Have you ever heard about Raisin-Water?

Raisin water is an excellent addition to your diet, especially for promoting good liver health which leads to purification/detoxification of the blood stream. In Ayurveda, raisins are known to be very healing. Especially black raisins. Raisin soaked water has special benefits. Raisins are a natural source of vitamins and minerals, but those benefits are increased tremendously if you drink the water that they are soaked in. This is because very less sugar content of the raisins is released in the soaked water, but most of the vitamins and minerals get released in the water. This soaking method acts as an excellent medicinal remedy for our liver.

How to make Raisin Water?

– Try to get good quality/organic black raisins.

– Take 1 to 2 tablespoon of black raisins.

– Wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt.

– Soak them in 1 cup of water overnight.

– Next morning, strain the water out of raisins with a strainer. Slightly crush the raisins with your clean fingers to extract the juice completely and drink this water on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.

– That’s it. Trust me, this black raisin water tastes sooo good! 🙂

– You can also eat the strained raisins if you want to or use them in other food.

The American Dietetic Association lists raisins among ‘The Perfect Snack’. Foods that provide energy and also help meet nutritional needs. Along with raisin water you can include black raisins in your diet in many ways. Although the nutritional value of the raisins is very high, one should consume them in moderation.

Sources:

http://www.raisins.net/Raisins_and_Health_200810.pdf

Ayurvedic benefits black raisin soaked water healthy skin hair body

Sesame seeds: A Fountain of Youth for Winter!

Sesame seeds: A Fountain of Youth for Winter!

Cold and dry winter weather brings with it dryness, itching and peeling of our skin. This dry weather not only affects skin but also affects hair, lips, eyes, hands and feet. We can minimize this damage and seasonal discomfort by using this little fountain of youth called Sesame seeds! Create warmness/comfort in your body and look more beautiful this winter season!

Use Sesame seeds and sesame oil in winter. Sesame seeds and oil benefits uses in Winter

Sesame seeds can be red, white, black, brown, and yellow. The color difference is based on the plant variety within the species, Sesamum indicum.  Sesame is used in multiple forms – powder, paste, oil or whole seeds.

Why are Sesame seeds so special?

1. It’s a fountain of youth:

Based on scientific research, vitamin E has been shown to increase lifespan and promote healthy neurons. Sesame seeds contain tocopherols, the major “vitamers” of vitamin E.  The intake of natural vitamin E is anti-aging (helps against collagen cross linking and lipid peroxidation, which are both linked to aging of the skin).

2. Antioxidant properties:

Sesame seeds also have antioxidant properties (specially black sesame seeds). The scientific research done on  brown pigment of sesame seed shows that it possesses excellent antioxidant activity. These antioxidants fight with free radicals and slow down the aging process in the body.

3. Promote healthy and beautiful skin:

Sesame seeds are full of zinc, an essential mineral for producing collagen and giving skin more elasticity. Zinc also helps to repair damaged tissues in the body.

4. High in nutritional value:

Sesame seeds are a rich source of minerals, calcium, zinc, magnesium, iron, manganese, copper as well as Vitamin B1 & Vitamin E. Regular consumption of sesame seeds nourishes body internally.

Sesame seeds and oil should be used in winter only. Sesame seeds and oil benefits uses in Winter

5. Boosts immunity:

The antioxidants in sesame seeds fight free radicals, thereby strengthening the immune system.

6. Rich in calcium:

Sesame seeds are rich source of calcium. Calcium promotes healthy hair and nails. It is also essential for strong and healthy bones.

7. Improves digestion:

Being rich in dietary fibers, black sesame seeds supports healthy gut flora, and favor digestion. Healthy digestive system leads to healthy skin and body.

Sesame is one of the most widely used Ayurvedic medicines.  In India, sesame seeds have been a part of their culture since ancient civilization. In India the benefits of sesame seeds are widely recognized and integrated into daily lives, as part of tradition, festivals, rituals and food.

Benefits and ways you can use sesame seed ‘Oil’:

Sesame seeds and oil benefits uses in Winter

1. Skin conditioner:

Massage over your body with warm sesame oil before jumping in the shower. You won’t need to moisturize afterwards.

2. Scalp massage:

Regular scalp massage with warm sesame oil will nourish your hair. It also act as a natural conditioner. Leave the oil in overnight and then wash it out in morning shower. You can make combinations of healthy oils along with the sesame oil for scalp massage.

3. For better sleep:

Massaging your feet with warm sesame seed oil before going to sleep. It will improve your sleep quality. It will also remove roughness of the feet.

4. For oral health:

In Ayurveda, sesame seed oil is used for ‘Oil pulling’ (swishing of oil in mouth for some time). It has been said to prevent teeth decay, bleeding gums, dry throat. It also strengthens the teeth, gums and jaw.

Benefits and ways you can use sesame ‘Seeds’:

Sesame seeds nourish our organs and blood. Blood transfers the nutrition to skin and hair. Sesame seeds and oil will nourish and protect our body both internally and externally.

Sesame seeds and oil benefits uses in Winter

Sesame seeds can be used in a variety of ways for example:

– You can sprinkle sesame seeds on your salads.

– Add sesame seeds to your breakfast cereals, smoothies.

– Add sesame seeds to your soups.

– Bake in bread.

– Make paste and use as a dip (e.g. Tahini – a Mediterranean recipe).

– Tahini sauce can be used in burgers, sandwiches, etc.

– If you are a fan of nutty flavors, enjoy one teaspoon of sesame seeds raw or roasted everyday.

– You can make some sesame chutney (powdered roasted sesame seeds mixed with some Indian spices).

– In India, Ladoo (a dessert) is made with sesame seeds and jaggery in the winter season on the occasion of a festival called Makar Sankranti.

Precautions:

Ayurveda recommends use of sesame seeds and sesame oil only in winter season.

– Sesame seeds are warm in nature, that is they increase heat in our body. It is better to avoid use of sesame seeds and oil during warm seasons.

Note: If you have any allergy to nuts and seeds you should avoid the use of sesame seeds or sesame oil and consult your doctor before making any significant changes into your diet.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19336860

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814604004480

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814605006801

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583891/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20205192

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6169415

Clay Pot Cooking: Preserve And Enhance the Nutrition in Your Food

Clay Pot Cooking: Preserve And Enhance the Nutrition in Your Food

Do you know that the utensil you choose for cooking, directly affects the taste and the nutritional value of your meal? Non-stick cookware and other metal pans destroy most of the nutrients in our food. We always try to buy the best possible quality of food – like Organic or Non-GMO products, to get maximum nourishment from our meals. But along with choosing nutritious food, it is also very important to preserve its nutrients while cooking. With the help of clay pot or clay pan cooking, we can preserve and even increase the nutritional value of our food. How? Let us understand.

clay pan cookware clay pot cooking

 

Since ancient times most of the cultures have had a tradition of using clay pots for cooking. Around 14000 BC, long before people started farming, they started making pottery out of clay in East Asia – around China and Japan. Likewise, early traces of pottery making are found all over the world. Clay pots have been used for many purposes, like storing grains when our ancestors started farming, storing drinking water, preserving fish by fermenting it inside the clay pot and most importantly for cooking food.

Modernization has indeed made our life easy and more comfortable than it was centuries ago. It has provided us with various modern tools and techniques to use for various purposes. This also includes the various modern kitchen utensils we use daily for cooking. But there is a serious problem with these modern cooking utensils.

The modern cooking utensils destroy the nutrients in our food and introduce poisonous chemical compounds in it. The very reason we eat food is to get the essential nutrients out of it. But if we are destroying most of the nutrition in food while cooking then whats the point of buying all the fancy modern utensils?

Why is Clay Pot cooking better? 

clay pot pan cooking preserves food nutrition

1. Nutrients are preserved:

Clay is porous in nature. This quality makes clay pots / clay pans very unique and effective for cooking. Due to this porous texture of clay pot, moisture and heat circulates evenly through the pot while cooking. Clay pots take a longer time to heat than metal pots. This even and slow cooking plays very important role in retaining nutrients inside the food.

Researchers at the CDRI (Central Drug Research Institute) Lab in Lucknow, India have done a case study on Clay Pot cooking. In one of their experiments, they cooked some Daal (Lentil curry) in a clay pot and at the same time also cooked some Daal in a pressure cooker. Then they compared the nutritional values of both the curries after they were cooked. In case of the Daal cooked in the pressure cooker, only 13% of the original micro nutrients present in the raw Daal were left. But in case of the Daal cooked in the clay pot, 100% of the micro nutrients which originally present in the raw Daal were still present in it after cooking! Essentially what was left in the pressure cooked Daal was almost worthless and unusable by the body.

(If you cannot completely stop using a cooker, consider using a Clay Pot Cooker, check this out: Vitaclay Cookers )

2. Alkaline nature of clay:

The second thing that makes clay pots special is that the clay is alkaline in nature. Clay interacts with the acidity in the food and neutralizes the pH balance. It is very important for our body to always remain alkaline and maintain its pH balance, which protects us from various diseases like cancer. Cancer cells develop in an acidic environment. Alkaline environment restricts the growth of cancer cells.

3. Less oil/fat required for cooking:

Clay has a natural non-stick properties. Also the process of cooking in a clay pot is similar to that of steaming. When clay pot is soaked in the cold water and then heated allows slow evaporation of steam from its pores. It provides plenty of moisture and eliminates the need of adding extra oil or liquid. The food cooks in its own natural juices.

4. Safe for food contact:

Clay is a natural material and it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals to react with the food. All it consist of is micro-nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, sulfur, etc. While other metal and non-stick utensils releases harmful chemical compounds in our food. These chemicals act as a slow poison in our body. In India, clay is considered as Pavitra (pure/ holy). Traditionally in every temple the Prasad (food offering to God) is made only in clay pots. The Prasad is eventually consumed by worshipers.

5. Environmental benefits:

Clay is an environment friendly substance. When taken care of these clay pots properly they can last quiet a long time. Even if the clay pots/pans get cracked or break, they are biodegradable. So no harm to our environment at all.

6. Retains heat for longer:

Once the food is cooked, a clay pot can keep it hot for much longer. Because of its insulating properties, clay pot retains heat.

7. Flavorful and nutritious food:

Food cooked in a clay pot with a lid on it, gets an intense and rich flavor.

clay pot yogurt dahi curd

In our home, my mother still uses clay pots to prepare most of the food. Yogurt made by my mother, in a clay pot tastes absolutely amazing! The taste which comes from cooking food in clay pots is very unique and delicious, I can’t explain it in words.

Many women in India, mostly in rural villages still use these clay pots for cooking. Those women might not know about how these clay pots are preserving and increasing the nutritional value of the food they are making. But they are simply following what their mothers and grandmothers used to do and are getting benefits from it – knowingly or unknowingly.

Our ancestors had a much better overall health than us. As compared to today, number of cases of diabetes, blood pressure, heart attack, cancer etc. were very low a few decades ago. Just because their lifestyle was very close to nature and they were getting all the nutrients from the food they were eating.

To experience how much better food can taste, just buy a cooking clay pot or a clay pan and try this way of cooking yourself. The result will be amazing! Once you start using clay pots, you won’t go back to the poisonous metal and non-stick cookware.

Rather than spending money on buying expensive multivitamins, which now some scientists say are not that effective and do not get absorb completely in our body as they are synthetically made, clay pot cooking is worth trying for taking care of our health naturally.

If you are planning to cook your food in clay pot there are some tips I am going to give in my next blog. These techniques will make your clay pot cooking easy and your clay pots will last much longer. I will put the link here once I post the next blog.

You can buy clay pots/pans from these websites specializing in Clay Cookware:

MiriamsEarthenCookWare.com

VitaClayChef.com

You can also buy clay pots on Amazon.com etc.