Health professionals are continuously talking about the trending “superfoods” to help keep you strong and fit during these difficult times. We all know about COVID-19, and there is no cure to it except taking vaccination and following the guidelines to stay safe. In this post, we will discuss Ayurveda foods and practices beneficial to your health and well-being. Blueberries, salmon, leafy greens are a few nutrient-rich foods that are best for you. But we will talk about many such superfoods that have been a part of the Indian diet for centuries and are highly beneficial.
Ayurveda is one of the ancient healthcare systems developed more than 3,000 years ago in India, that works intending to promote good health. Intake of the right food helps detox your body and rejuvenate it. Further, helping you boost immunity, improve physical and mental strength, and help resolve digestion problems.
Check out some of the Ayurvedic Superfoods that one must add to their diet.
Brahmi is a staple plant in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Few out of its many health benefits are listed below:
- Brahmi is exceptionally good at enhancing memory and improving cognitive function. Thus, ayurvedic medicine helps ease the symptoms of Alzheimer’s health condition. Additionally, it impacts anxiety, gastric ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome as well as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Moreover, it is known as a general stress fighter and mood lifter.
- Believed to increase the serotine levels, Brahmi helps to keep you calm and concentrated as well as alert. Muchmore, the relaxed mind allows you a sound sleep which is most important for many health reasons.
- Brahmi is rich in antioxidants that help to remove free radicals that can further mutate into cancer cells. Furthermore, the regular consumption of Brahmi helps strengthen your immunity.
- Brahmi might help improve symptoms of hypoglycemia as it is known for regulating the blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes.
- Brahmi oil is excellent for treating a dry scalp and preventing hair fall. Its richness in antioxidants not only helps in rejuvenating your scalp but also encourages the regeneration of healthy hair. Furthermore, massaging the scalp with Brahmi also works well for treating hair problems such as dandruff, itchiness, and formation of split ends.
Tulsi is an aromatic, sacred plant in Hindu belief and is well known for its broad-spectrum health-supporting properties. Let’s count down on a few of its health benefits:
- This Ayurvedic herb acts as an antidote for stress-related disorders and helps counter metabolic stress levels in the body. Furthermore, it also works to improve brain functioning.
- Herbal formulations help treat asthma, bronchitis, colds, and the flu. Thus Tulsi is recognized to support respiratory health. It not only helps to effectively liquefy the phlegm but also reduces cough.
- Tulsi is an effective measure to lower blood pressure levels due to its active compounds and is thus helpful for keeping a check on high blood pressure.
- The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of tulsi help keep acne and breakouts at bay thus, leaving the skin blemish-free.
- Packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, as well as phytonutrients, tulsi serves your hair by stimulating blood circulation and promoting hair growth.
- Consuming Tulsi may help improve pancreatic beta-cell function and insulin secretion. Its anti-inflammatory properties thus prove helpful in managing diabetes-related ailments such as obesity.
- You can also count on it as a solution to several gastrointestinal problems for its ability to cure stomach ulcers, gastric disorders, and even menstrual cramps.
- Tulsi is protective against oxidative damage and reduces free radicals, while it balances antioxidant enzymes, thus it is a promising anti-aging herb.
Ghee is a class of clarified butter that is commonly used in the cuisine of the Indian subcontinent. Rich in proteins, iron, sodium, calcium, vitamin A, D, E, and omega fatty acids, ghee is considered to be a superfood. Mentioned below are some of its health benefits:
- Though ghee contains a higher concentration of fat than butter, it is considered healthy because of its high concentrations of monounsaturated Omega-3s that support a healthy heart and cardiovascular system by reducing unhealthy cholesterol levels.
- When ghee is added to milk and then consumed it increases the secretion of digestive enzymes in the gut. These enzymes help in the easy absorption of nutrients by breaking down food into smaller units. Furthermore, this also boosts the body’s metabolism and helps clear the gut of toxins.
- Being an excellent source of fat-soluble vitamins and healthy fatty acids, ghee supports weight loss. Ghee prepared from cow’s milk benefits the mind as well as the body.
- Taking a drop of ghee and applying it to your lips leaves them moisturized providing you relief from chapped, dry lips.
- Ghee has anti-bacterial properties and is known to treat skin peeling, dull and dehydrated skin issues providing a fresh glow. Applying a paste of ghee and turmeric mixed together and allowing it to dry completely before washing it off with cold water is ideal for lightening the skin since both turmeric and ghee have anti-oxidants.
- Ghee is not just restricted to cooking, or say the Indian kitchen, it is widely used in Ayurvedic massage and also as a base for herbal ointments to treat burns and rashes.
- Ghee is equally good for eye health. Undoubtedly, it is promising for an improved vision and good for your eye-sight.
- Adding ghee to milk and consuming it at night helps you get rid of constipation.
Turmeric is a vibrant orange-yellow spice used to color curries. In fact, it has been dated back as medicine, a condiment, and in flavoring foods. Also, it’s known for many scientifically proven health benefits a few of which have been mentioned here:
- Curcumin (the most active compound in turmeric) can actually suppress fat tissue growth as per some studies. Turmeric also helps in regulating sugar levels and further preventing insulin resistance. Thus checking the excess fat from retaining in the body.
- Inflammation is a major cause of concern in cases of obesity, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease as where there’s inflammation, there’s pain. The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric work and takes control.
- Curcumin has also proven effective in managing knee pain from osteoarthritis. Furthermore, rheumatoid arthritis patients consuming curcumin reported having less joint swelling.
- Turmeric is rich in antioxidants and helps neutralize the free radicals thus preventing cellular damage and degeneration. Moreover, it can also reduce oxidative damage that might trigger aging or various chronic diseases.
- Turmeric works on the lining of the blood vessels thus proving helpful regulate your blood pressure, blood clotting as well as other factors vital to heart health. It also cuts down on bad cholesterol (LDL).
- Curcumin in turmeric is potent to trigger growth hormone in the brain that helps spur new brain cell growth and can even improve your memory.
- Turmeric is good for digestive health too. Its anti-inflammatory properties lower the risk of developing ulcers or any kind of irritation. Thus it manages gastrointestinal disorders such as IBS, Crohn’s disease, and diarrhea.
- Turmeric is antiseptic and can be applied directly on major cuts or bleeding wounds to prevent the loss of blood. Dabbing a generous amount of turmeric powder on a fresh cut will help stop the oozing of blood and also prevent infections.
Amla or the Indian gooseberry can be eaten in the form of murabba, candy or can be consumed in simple powder form. It is not just unique and delicious but also highly nutritious and associated with a variety of health benefits:
- Amla is a great source of Vitamin C that not only protects the cells against oxidative stress but also enhances immune cell function.
- Amla juice enhances liver health because of its anti-inflammatory properties and richness in antioxidants.
- Amla juice proved beneficial in treating and preventing several digestive issues, including GERD, diarrhea, and stomach ulcers.
- Regular intake of Amla not only adds glow to your skin but also improves your eye-sight.
- Being rich in fiber, amla is highly promising for a healthy gut and proper digestion.
- A rich source of Calcium, Amla works magic for your hair by stimulating its growth and also improving its quality.
- Amla promotes heart health too. Intake of Amla showed reduced triglyceride, total cholesterol, and LDL(bad) cholesterol levels as per some studies. Moreover, Amla extract intake also revealed a decrease in blood pressure, which is another risk factor for heart disease.
- Amla also strengthens your bones. Being rich in calcium is different but promoting absorption of calcium takes amla to the next levels when we talk about its potentials. Furthermore, this fruit can prevent the breakdown of osteoclasts, the cells of the bone.
6. Ashwagandha Root (Indian Ginseng)
Ashwagandha, also known as Indian Ginseng is a medicinal plant that has been part of Ayurveda for past many years. Basically, it acts as a stress manager for the body and is thus termed as an adaptogen but it has many more scientifically proven health benefits in store for the body as well as the brain. So let’s catch them up:
- Ashwagandha is a commendable alternative that supports natural healing by relieving stress, increasing energy levels as well as concentration.
- It has the potential to reduce cortisol levels thus keeping you away from stress. Cortisol is a stress hormone secreted by the adrenal glands at the time of stress.
- Ashwagandha can lower blood sugar levels as it showed effects on insulin secretion and sensitivity in several studies.
- Ashwagandha also impacts reproductive health. Intake of Ashwagandha affects the testosterone levels thus not only increases the sperm count and its quality but also the motility.
- Ashwagandha has the potential and might be a treatment option for rheumatoid arthritis. It can prevent pain signals from moving along the central nervous system by acting as a pain reliever. To add more, it might also have some anti-inflammatory properties.
- Ashwagandha is known to have a compound (withaferin) that helps induce apoptosis (the programmed death of cancer cells. Moreover, it also prevents the growth of new cancer cells.
- Ashwagandha has the ability to slow or prevent loss of brain function in people with neurodegenerative ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Parkinson’s.
Ginger is widely used in our kitchen as a spice and flavoring and indeed holds a specific place in Ayurveda. Loaded with antioxidants that help counter stress and also damage to the body’s DNA, let’s discuss the abundant medicinal benefits of ginger right now:
- Ginger is of great medicinal importance because Gingerol (the main bioactive compound) has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and is capable of lessening oxidative stress.
- Ginger seems to work well in case of nausea. It is effective for morning sickness and also when related to chemotherapy. Though it is safe yet it might not suit all and is always advisable to be discussed with your doctor in certain pregnancy cases.
- Consumption of Ginger has also shown positive signs at regulating obesity and weight loss. The reason might be its potential of burning more calories and also reducing inflammation.
- Ginger along with cinnamon, and sesame oil proves effective at reducing pain and stiffness in people with osteoarthritis especially that of the knee.
- Ginger intake has shown a decline in blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes thus cutting down on various heart disease risk factors.
- Ginger is also a boon for people suffering from indigestion or some other stomach-related discomfort as it significantly accelerates emptying the stomach.
- Ginger is quite effective and provides relief in Dysmenorrhea (pain during the menstrual cycle).
- Certain studies reveal that ginger intake can lead to a notable decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol, total cholesterol, and even blood triglyceride levels.
- Gingerol, a key compound of ginger has shown promising effects against cancer but more studies are however required in this respect.
- Gingerol effectively checks out oxidative stress and chronic inflammation that can accelerate the aging process thus limiting Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline.
- Ginger also helps lower the risk of infections by checking the growth of various bacterias. Furthermore, it might also fight against several harmful viruses that can be a cause of respiratory infections.
- Ginger undoubtedly helps recover from a cold or flu and proves very relieving for the headache caused thereof.
Learn some more interesting facts about Ginger.
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