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A powerful thread: Saffron

Saffron is derived from a flower crocus sativus. The stigma of the flower are used as seasonings which

Corcus sativus

imparts crimson color and flavor to the product. Called as Kesar in Hindi, Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. The attractive eye appealing color, the flavor and the medicinal properties imparted by Kesar makes it a exquisite spice. Being the strongest and flavorful spice, addition of this spice can totally change the taste of the final food prepared to a higher level.

This spice is also called as Varnya Gana in Aryuveda science which means the one that gives fairness and makes the skin glow.

Properties of Saffron.

Saffron can change the color and the flavor of the entire food product when added in minimal quantities. Infusion in milk can create wonderful Indian desserts such as Shrikand, Kheer, Cheesecakes. Also, saffron is also used in biryani and other rice related dishes.

Saffron is added to the food products by dissolving in milk or hot water to extract the color and flavor from the spice. This is due to the fact that saffron needs a moist medium to release its color and flavorful components. Chefs of popular restaurants dissolve saffron in wine for the complete extraction to add flavor to the food dish.

Saffron is a sensitive spice and hence its usage must be regulated. Saffron is never exposed to heat treatments as it gives adverse affects to the final product of the food.There are three types of Saffron in the market: Indian Saffron, Iranian Saffron and the Spanish Saffron. One must take care that adding saffron with other spices may alter the taste of the latter spice when added in larger quantities.

Benefits of adding Saffron to Milk for pregnant ladies

  • Saffron is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Folic Acid.
  • Saffron can control the blood pressure which fluctuates during pregnancy
  • Boil your glass of milk with strands of saffron; saffron rich milk is extremely beneficial as it improves the hemoglobin level in the blood owing to Saffron’s richness in Iron.
  • Saffron rich milk can help in keeping the baby in the womb voluntary.
  • Saffron rich milk can combat the mood swings which most of the pregnant ladies face during her first trimester.

One must always consume saffron milk in morning before breakfast and before bedtime. Depending on the season, the quantity that must be added to the milk as Kesar threads are considered as hot foods.

When to drink Kesar ka Doodh (Saffron Milk)

During the beginning of pregnancy, one can take around 2-3 threads and slowly increase 3-4 threads.

  • Summer: 2-4 threads
  • Winter season: 4-5 threads of kesar and
  • Rainy Season: Should not exceed 3 threads

Tips while cooking Saffron

  • Take care while using the saffron as adding large quantity of saffron can make the food taste bitter.
  • Never add saffron directly to the prepared food. It must be dissolved in milk or water beforehand.

Infusing saffron in wine can give better results of the final product.

  • For 1 tsp of saffron, add 3 tsp of liquid to dissolve the strands.
  • Do not mix saffron using wooden utensils as it can absorb saffron.
  • While adding in liquid food products such as soups, stews and salad dressings, the threads of saffron can be crushed and added, taking care that the saffron should not get burnt.

Cooking Pasta using Saffron

Recently, I developed a white pasta sauce using saffron to increase the intake of saffron in my regular diet. It was delightful dish and it also supplied my body with good amounts of nutrients.

  • One can use saffron for cooking white sauce pasta by adding a pinch of saffron to the usual white sauce preparation

Can we now understand how a small thread can provide us bundle of nutrients, serving multiple health benefits such as curbing acidity, giving us a radiant skin, preventing hair fall. If this strand can be beneficial to a growing baby in the womb, can we imagine the numerous benefits that it can give to a developed adult?

1 month ago

Lets celebrate woman’s health this year!

Happy Women’s Day to all the ladies out there! 🙂

Humans came into existence many many years ago and woman has always been the backbone of every family, giving birth and raising children. Yet, her health has always been ignored. She has always forgotten her health, sorrows, sacrificing a lot for the betterment of her family. Time and now, every girl has been taught to do so. But, with changing environment, increasing pollution, and so much of stress in work place and personal life, woman’s health cannot be neglected. As a woman, one must become serious about her health, her well being, and overall herself.

According to Hindu Mythology, woman is negative & a man is positive. Being negative, she is more emotional than a man. Her physiological conditions affect her mental and physical well being throughout her life which is missing in men:

  1. Menstrual cycle
  2. Pregnancy
  3. Menopause

These physiological conditions apart from being painful brings along with:

1.Premenstrual Syndrome: Uncontrollable irritation & anger, stomach pain/back aches.

2. Pregnancy: Anemia, Affects mental health, with major changes happening in body shape & health. Lactation & post pregnancy causes Postpartum depression.

3. Menopause: With old age and menopause comes arthritis, uncontrollable irritation, thyroid.

These conditions have been neglected since generations. Woman ignore their diet which makes her more sick! A nutritious and balanced diet will keep mind stable, alleviating mood swings, PMS syndrome, cures anemia. Although she takes very good care of her husband, her parents, and children, she herself forgets to assimilate the same.

Ignorance is evil cause of diseases.

A lot of women complain about the same issues:

  1. Morning sickness; cranky moods.
  2. Migraines or other type of headaches.
  3. Anemia
  4. Hyperthyroid
  5. Arthritis

Yet, the best and good way to solve them is to follow a healthy diet, when body assimilates the right nutrients. Even a small dose of deficiency can mess up our bodily functions!

My top 10 unbeatable advice for all the women:

This woman’s day, lets talk about top 10 solutions, focus on health and improve our wellbeing.

  1. Have soaked almonds/any fruit, preferably banana first thing on empty stomach.
  2. Have breakfast within 90 minutes after this short meal mentioned in point no.1
  3. Drink 2 glasses of milk to get the dose of Calcium & Vitamin D right.
  4. Have a glass of buttermilk/a bowl of curd (tossed with jeera powder)/yogurt post lunch daily. Dairy products are rich in lactose, vitamins which keeps the body cool, maintains the good health of bacteria in the gut.
  5. Adopt eating daal-chawal in the night, it will improve your memory power, supply your adequate amount of proteins and keep the mind calm.
  6. Keep a gap of 2 hours before going to bed.
  7. Switch off your gadgets 30 minutes before hitting the bed and feel relaxed. This is a good stress buster.
  8. With summer coming, increase the frequency of consuming coconut water and nimbu sherbet.
  9. Do strength training twice a week without fail.
  10. Make sure to work out for 150 hours every week.

And yes, last but not least, PRAISE YOURSELF, EMBRACE YOURSELF-COZ YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB!

 

Cheers to Green Tea!

Green tea- Green tea- Green tea…With so much of hype about weight loss and zero figure, there is a lot said about this tea everywhere for rapid weight loss, bundle supply of antioxidants & good acne-free skin! This blog post will definitely make you sip a cup of green tea tonight, after going through its multiple benefits. For me, it is the most healthiest beverage to sip on everyday. With summer coming around, this light oxidized tea will keep you cool through the sunny days, help you with some rapid weight loss & make you smarter, yes you read that right!

Cool yourself this summer with Green Tea:

Green tea is a light oxidized tea; known to be very refreshing. It is usually drank without milk, hence it keeps your stomach light. Squeeze a lemon & add some ice to this magic potion after coming back home from hot sun. Chinese medicine has always listed green tea as one of the body cooling beverages. Lets try out this beverage in the coming summer!

Loaded with Antioxidants

Antioxidants scavenges the free radicals in the body & helps in skin repair. EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate), a catechin is abundantly found in green tea which gives green tea many medicinal properties like:

  1.  Protecting against skin damage.
  2. Fight against ageing.
  3. It can possibly reduce the risk of cancer. Chemotherapy patients must take their respective advice from the doctors.

Never add milk to green tea:It reduces the antioxidant content in the tea.

It can make you smarter

Green tea can make you smarter as it improves the functioning of the brain. The stimulant in Green tea is Caffeine. It helps in:

  1. Keeping awake for longer time.
  2. Improves mood & memory power.
  3. Increases the activity of GABA, which is known to reduce anxiety levels in the body.
  4. Since, coffee also contains caffeine, but it has been tested that Green Tea gives you more energy & makes a person more productive than coffee.

  It can reduce the risk of the two of the most happening neuro-degenerative diseases called Alzheimer & Parkinson.

Weight Loss

I have read so much on weight loss & metabolism, and have never come across a single post/book/article which do not mention green tea under the weight loss foods. Green tea increases the rate of metabolism and also the rate of fat oxidation. A study conducted by The Journal Of Clinical Nutrition showed that men who consumed green tea before hitting a gym showed higher fat oxidation than those who didn’t consume any green tea.

How many cups a day?

Over consuming a health magic potion can make it poison! Consuming 2-3 cups a day is very effective.

  1. Never ever have green tea on an empty stomach; it can adversely affect your liver.
  2. Green tea contains caffeine, it can keep you awake for longer time, hence avoid having it immediately before going to bed.
  3. Have it before your exercise. It has been proved that it increases the rate of fat oxidation.
  4. Have it between your meals, in the evening.
  5. Add a dash of cinnamon to the cup of green tea. Cinnamon in green tea improves the rate of absorption of antioxidants in the body.
  6. Pregnant women & Anemics should consume lesser amount of green tea, as it hampers iron absorption. This is because the tea contains Catechins. Restriction to 1 cup a day!
  7. Do have a cup of tea after your supper. It is very very effective than any other time of the day.
  8. Always purchase a higher quality branded green tea.
  9. People suffering from insomnia should avoid green tea before bedtime as it will keep them awake for longer time.
  10. Cancer suffering patients undergoing Chemotherapy should consult their doctor before sipping a cup of this tea!

For me, this post has been very special. Why? My husband started having it 🙂

My humble Daal-Chawal

Humble Daal-Chawal?? Does it sound personified or funny? Well, I call it humble because it is the most nutritious yet the ignored meal of the day & this post is dedicated to my husband- Mr. Sanket Garg who hated having Daal-Chawal (Rice & Lentil) & after realizing the humility of Daal-Chawal now eats it whenever served. Many of us do not realize the importance of Daal-Chawal & find good reasons to avoid it. The best one being- I do not like it. This post is for all those mothers who want to prepare daal chawal & children of the loving mothers who try to avoid it.

RICE

Rice is rich in starch & many people believe that it makes us obese, but it is not the case. It is the richest
source of protein amongst all the grains. It contains 8 essential amino acids out of 10 (Amino acids are the building blocks of Proteins) which are not produced in the body, hence it is important that you consume these amino acids which cannot be synthesized by the body. Rice is rich in Methonine, an essential amino acid & lack Lysine. It is rich in Thiamine, Niacin & Iron.

DAAL

Daal, being a pulse is rich in proteins & has abundance of Lysine, while it is deficient in Methonine. Daal is also rich in minerals, notably iron & zinc. It is also rich in vitamins like Thiamine, folic acid.

Hence, both Rice & Dal compensate for each others deficiency, providing all the essential amino acids required by the human body.

MICRONUTRIENTS

The role of micro nutrient is unique in our body. It is required in very little quantity & makes our body work smoothly. Deficiency of vitamins or minerals can really be painful to our body. The absorption of the  micro nutrients can be increased/decreased by complementing it with the right partner (Vitamin D increases the absorption of Calcium)

Never drink tea after consuming foods that are rich in Iron. Tea reduces the availability of iron in human body. Consume citrus fruits/orange juices to increase the assimilation of iron in the body.

Always make sure that you don’t throw the water used for soaking rice & daal, as it contains vitamin B. Vitamin B is water soluble, hence it is lost easily while washing & soaking. So, always use that soaking water while preparing your food instead of discarding it.

 

THE MAGIC ABOUT DAAL-CHAWAL & GHEE

  • It is now clearly understood that Daal Chawal gives us the complete amino acid profile, which makes it a protein rich meal.
  • When you have Daal Chawal in the night for your dinner:

(1) it will improve your memory,

(2) keep you mentally calm as rice is rich in carbs. Carbs keep mind calm.

(3) eating it with some ghee will provide you with short chain fatty acid (good fat) and helps in assimilating Vitamin D.

  • The critical importance of daal-chawal has always been understood by our ancestors &  that is why Khichdi (made from Daal-Chawal) is served when one suffers from fever, being a light meal, it provides all the essential nutrients required by the body.

So keep calm & have daal chawal which will keep you more calm !

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