Have you ever wondered why tulsi leaves are traditionally put in the mouth of a dying person? It is said to guide the departed soul towards heaven. It is also believed to be a ward against evil spirits and ghosts. While Hindu mythology is replete with various legends woven around this sacred plant, tulsi holds a special place in Ayurved as its medicinal uses are phenomenal.
According to Ms. Sandhya Gugnani, a famous nutritionist:
Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, has an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties which help in purifying the blood and keep skin and hair healthy and glowing. The holy basil is packed with antioxidants as well as immune-enhancing qualities, the phytochemicals present in tulsi protect the body from damages caused by free radicals thus, delaying the aging process. Tulsi helps in increasing the metabolism which aids in weight loss when coupled with increased physical activity & a healthy diet. It also increases sensitivity to insulin, lowering one’s blood sugar & treating diabetes
How to benefit from Tulsi
– Having fever? Have tulsi and cardamom boiled in water. It helps bring down the fever.
– Tulsi is a germicide and disinfectant. It protects us from infections.
– Tulsi with honey and ginger is an effective remedy against bronchitis, asthma, influenza and cold.
– Eating tulsi empty stomach, is known to relieve one from kidney stones.
– Tulsi reduces blood cholesterol levels.
– Tulsi contains Vitamin C and other antioxidants such as eugenol which protects the heart from harmful effects of free radicals.
– Warm tulsi juice gets rid of stomach worms.
– Foul breath is such a big turn off! Guess what! Tulsi fights with bad breath, pyorrhoea and cavities and other dental problems.
– Tulsi has been traditionally known to cure night blindness.
– A large group of researchers believe that it has the potential to fight cancer, as it scavenges free radicals in the body.
(Source: The Times of India)
Eat to live? Or live to eat? Whichever category you might belong to, this interesting research compilation is something worth a read!
Eight Foods That Improve Life Expectancy (source)
- Fruits and Vegetables: Haven’t our mamas always asked us to finish our vegetables, and have salads? Well, that is because they want us to live longer! Fruits and vegetables are low in calorie content, and have more fiber and nutritional value. Balanced and regular intake of these, help maintain body weight, and also protect from cardio-vascular ailments.
- Low Salt Intake: Salt has always been known not just in culinary sense, but also a common culprit for blood pressure and related problems. It is a known fact that less salt in the diet means lower blood pressure. And a new study reveals that keeping blood pressure down may also protect brain cells and decrease the risk of age-related memory loss and even dementia.
- Blueberries: Antioxidants, as we all know, keep us healthy. They fight against oxidation of elements in our body. Researchers at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, have found out that blueberries top the list in terms of their antioxidant activity when compared to 40 other fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Tomatoes: Scientifically speaking, tomato comes under the fruit category. They are low in fat, high in fiber and a low-calorie source of many vitamins and they’re packed with lycopene, an antioxidant that gives them their red color and may also have a role to play in lowering the risk of cancer.
- Calcium Rich Foods: Bone loss and osteoporosis are among the leading reasons for disability in later life. Once a person becomes disabled, their health often reduces in many other ways. Although some bone loss with age is certain to happen, the process can be slowed down by eating foods high in calcium and vitamin D which can also prevent disabling fractures.
- Coffee: A growing number of studies recommend that coffee has many unexpected health benefits. In addition to potentially lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes, drinking coffee may reduce the risk of age-related mental reduction. According to the latest evidence that comes from a Finish study of 1,409 volunteers published in the Journal of Alzheimers Disease in 2009, it found that people who drank coffee consistently during their middle-aged years had improved life expectancy ratio over time.
- Soya: Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. And Soya is stuffed with quality protein and it is the only plant food that contains all the essential amino acids (protein building blocks) needed for good health, making it similar to meat, fish, eggs and dairy products. This also makes it a particularly important food for vegetarians and vegans.
- Grains: Whole grain includes foods such as grain cereals, wholemeal bread, brown rice and wholewheat pasta. As the name suggests, whole grains contain the ‘whole’ grain, including the nutrient-rich germ, the energy-providing endosperm and the fibre-rich bran layer.
Next time you visit an eating joint, you might as well hear the guy on the register saying, “That would be $4 and 900 calories, please!”
In a recent development, in United States of America, it has been mandated that every restaurant, pub and cinema chain should be displaying the calorie content of their food and drink. The same practice is already being followed by many joints in United Kingdom.
According to BBC :
Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the LGA’s community well-being board, said: “We are calling on cinema, restaurant and pub chains to step up and show leadership in tackling the obesity crisis, by providing clear and graphic signs at counters and on menus.
“In many cases, people are unaware of how many calories they are consuming.
“Food and drink outlets should be doing more to provide clear and prominent labelling which spells this out clearly.”
Soft drinks are said to be the biggest contributor to the obesity problems in kids these days, around the world. The move should be a welcoming one, as now one can observe and record his/her calorie intake, even when eating out. Also, perhaps, out of sheer shyness, of public display of calorie intact, we may cut on intake as well!! Great move for ones under diet plans!