FEBRUARY 2016
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

NUTRITION

Winter Wonder foods

BHAVI NIRAV

By BHAVI NIRAV


Winter comes with a package of full-fledged festivities, cold, cough, flu, etc.  It is this time of the year when we need to nourish our body with most immune-enhancing foods. Explore some winter wonder foods!

Ginger - Universal Medicine
The most commonly used medicinal part of the plant is the rhizome, the root-like stem that grows underground. It encourages healthy appetite, calms indigestion, and is one of the best common herbs for promoting healthy circulation. Ginger actually has broad-spectrum antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant and anti-parasitic properties, to name just few of 40 some pharmacological actions.

Ginger has a positive effect on diabetes since it inhibits enzymes in carbohydrate metabolism, increases insulin release and sensitivity and improves lipid profiles.
It is one of the best natural remedies if you struggle with motion sickness or nausea. To continue revering ginger, it improves fat digestion, reduces memory loss, relieves arthritis pain, and improves cognitive function in middle-aged women.
Ginger is a metabolism-boosting substance. Research suggests that consuming thermogenic ingredients like ginger may boost your metabolism by up to 5 percent, and increase fat burning by up to 16 percent.

Turmeric - Queen of spices
Turmeric's bright orange flesh is earthy, peppery, and slightly bitter.
Turmeric powder is made by dry grinding of mature turmeric rhizomes (underground stems). 1 inch fresh turmeric = 1 tablespoon freshly grated turmeric = 1 teaspoon ground turmeric. Turmeric loses some of its essential oils in the drying process but it can still provide warmth and color.
According to the Journal of the American Chemical Society, turmeric contains a wide range of antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anticarcinogenic, antimutagenic and anti-inflammatory properties.
It is also loaded with many healthy nutrients such as protein, dietary fiber, niacin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc.
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. It helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains piperine, a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000 percent. Curcumin is also a fat soluble; it is a good idea to take curcumin with a fatty meal. Just a few grams of turmeric per day either in the form of powder or fresh root can provide enough nutrients to help you keep away from anemia, neuritis, memory disorders and offer protection against high blood pressure, cancers, infectious diseases and strokes.

Amla - Motherly fruit
Indian gooseberry or amla is sour, bitter, astringent and quite fibrous.
It is one of the best sources of natural Vitamin C, contains 20 times more Vitamin C than an orange. Even when it is dried or baked, it contains tannins, which prevent loss of Vitamin C. Vitamin C, an anti-oxidant, fights free radicals, which cause many chronic and grave diseases like arthritis, high blood pressure, heart problems, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and so on. Amla boosts absorption of calcium, thereby aids in the formation, maintenance, and repair of bones, teeth, nails and hair.
It also enhances protein synthesis by means of which bodily tissues, especially muscles, are strengthened and toned up. It is useful in reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol and prevents arterial blockages that may cause heart attack or stroke.

Healing shot:
Combine 2 fresh organic carrots, 1 small beet, 1/4 cup frozen spinach, 5-6 slices of alma,1 medium rhizome fresh turmeric, 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, add some mint add 2-3 cubes ice to prevent heating in juicer or Vitamix. Grind it for about 30 seconds and voila, a health-boosting drink is ready.

To our health!

Bhavi Nirav is a Registered Dietitian/M.S., R.D., L.D., certified yoga practitioner, and can be reached at swarayog@gmail.com

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