This 7 part herb, nut and fruit series gives you a way to slide these health gems into your week with minimum effort. What better way to keep the doctor away?
Herb in Focus: Fennel (Saunf)
We commonly known Fennel as a spice for beverages and as a post meal digestive aid. Along with taking away bad breath it has a variety of medicinal uses:
- To ease constipation: fry fennel seeds and mix black salt in equal amounts. Eat a spoonful in the morning and evening.
- Against urinary difficulty and pain: prepare a juice of fennel seeds. Add a little sugar candy/jaggery/brown sugar and drink twice a day.
- For women’s woes: To enhance fertility in women, powder the seeds and mix with ghee (clarified butter). Consume 5 gm of the mixture daily for 3 months. Having fennel tea twice a day is known to increase breast milk secretion in nursing mothers.
- To heal pimples and boils: soak 50 gm fennel seeds in a mud pitcher for a night and use it for bathing next morning. Especially effective in summers.
- To improve eyesight: mix fennel seeds and sugar in equal proportion and powder them. Dissolve 2 spoonfuls in water and drink before going to bed. Improves eyesight and checks formation of cataract.
- To ease teething in children: Boil fennel seeds in water and strain. Add a spoonful in milk and administer thrice a day. The child won’t suffer indigestion, dysentery or pain during teething period.
- To rehydrate in summer: One glass fennel sharbat/juice in the morning keeps you cool throughout the day. Soak 100 gm in 1 cup water the previous night and make a paste in the morning. This paste is then dissolved in a glass of water with sugar and consumed on an empty stomach.
- To fight signs of aging: the antioxidants (kaemoferol and quercetin) in fennel can help your skin glow. Check here for more on achieving glowing skin.
- To reduce high cholesterol: fennel decreases re-absorption of cholesterol thereby preventing it from clogging the arteries and thereby protecting from heart diseases.
How to Fennel: An additional gem with fennel: Fat burner recipe- make a decoction of 1/2 tsp ginger and 1/2 tsp dried fennel seeds in 1 litre of water. To be consumed daily for a couple of weeks. For those who prefer a Fat Burner Smoothie recipe (with watermelon) check here.
Nut in the spot: Pistachio
These nuts are high in beta carotene and parabolic acid, both of which are anti-inflammatory compounds. They also contain B6, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, copper, and zinc.
Health benefits of these tasty nuts:
-Protect against hypertension due to high content of MUFAs (Monounsarurated Fatty Acids- promote healthy cholesterol levels)
-Facilitate digestion due to fibre content.
-Rich source of protein.
-Reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.
-Great for diabetics: In diabetics, the sugars form inappropriate bonds with proteins and make them unusable. This process is known as glyaction. The antioxidants present in pista help reduce glyaction and thus control diabetes.
Because of high fat content it is used in aromatherapy and massage therapies. It eliminates dryness of skin.
How to Pistachio: Amount to eat a day: Up to 1 ounce/30 gm. This accounts for 6 gm of protein. Ways of consumption: Munch as a snack, include in salads, desserts; have them roasted for better taste. Try and stay away from adding salt.
Fruit of interest: Guava
Guavas contain Vitamin C (3-6 times more than oranges), copper, zinc, beta carotene and lycopene. Most of the Vitamin C is concentrated in the skin and the amount of Vitamin C in the fruit reaches it maximum in the green, fully matured fruit. It declines as the fruit ripens.
Guavas have high levels of pectin, thus are used for making candies, jams, jellies and juices. They can also be used as a base for sauces thus replacing tomatoes (beneficial in acidity).
- Flatulence – curbs gas. Also has mild laxative effect thus easing constipation.
- Toothache – leaves are beneficial to relive toothache, swollen gums and oral ulcers. Simply chew the leaves or boil them in water and gargle.
- Common cold – Consume guava throughout winters. This will protect from cold due to high content of Vitamin C.
- Reduces risk of cancer – especially prostate and breast as it is rich in lycopene.
- Low glycemic index – thus making it a must have fruit for diabetics. Check here for more tips on a diabetic diet.
- Guava during pregnancy – It contains folic acid which is necessary for the baby’s brain development.
- Improves blood circulation to the brain (Vitamin B3, B6), thus stimulating cognitive function and relaxing nerves.
- Regulating blood pressure: through increased levels of potassium, guava decreases sodium content in blood and thereby reduces high blood pressure. (high sodium=high blood pressure) Tip: Freeze the fruit to make it last longer.
How to Guava: simply consume the fruit in its tasty natural form or in any of the above mentioned ways. DIY Face scrub: Guava flesh + 1 egg yolk. Apply to face and keep for 20 mins. Rinse with warm water. Helps get rid of skin tan and improves complexion. For inflammed skin, use this Oats Face Mask.
Guava is known to have anti-aging properties. Thus, like it’s cousin the apple; a guava a day keeps fine lines away 🙂