Stress has grown manifold in recent times. Our body and our mind need rejuvenation from time to time to protect us from such abuse so that we recover quickly. Yoga, meditation and other relaxation therapies are time-tested therapies that will gradually heal you and bring about a mental balance. When you start embracing such alternative therapies from reputed establishments, the chances of recovery are bright. While these therapies have a calming effect on your mind, it is also important to nourish your body with vitamins, minerals, nutrients that the body needs. To maintain a balance in your digestive system, salads and greens are needed. Here is a detailed article on Salads and Greens to eat that revitalize your health.
Why should you eat Salads and Greens
Raw vegetables and fruits have immense power in them to build your health. Often the nutrients in vegetables get destroyed due to overcooking. So including raw vegetables along with greens has become essential for dealing with lifestyle diseases like diabetes, thyroid, hypertension etc.
Raw vegetables like cucumber, carrots, onions, tomatoes have alkalinity in them and these act as natural cleansers and neutralize the acids in your body. This is the reason nutritionists often recommend raw salads for those suffering from acidity.
Salads and greens also contain fibres that help in reducing cholesterol and triglycerides. Triglycerides are nothing but fatty deposits in your body (particularly liver). When you consume fibrous food, it will give you a filling effect so you won’t feel hungry. However, when it comes to junk foods like samosas or vada pavs, you will realise that they make you crave more and you end up eating more than your share. Samosas are considered inimical because they are made from refined flour (maida) that is often labelled as “white poison”. To add insult to injury, samosas contain flour and potatoes which will add to the calories that you consume and then they are deep fried. This is why regular consumption of junk food has a deleterious effect on your physical well-being.
Obesity is at the root of most of the lifestyle ailments and so if you are able to watch your weight, then you have addressed 50% of the problems.
A simple home remedy for curing acidity
Grate carrots to fill a bowl. Ensure that carrots are fresh and are washed well under running water. Add a pinch of salt and cumin (jeera) powder. Add 2 tablespoons of freshly made curd. Consume it early in the morning. Within a few days, your acidity problems will vanish. You can, if you wish, add finely chopped coriander leaves. Do not use refrigerated curd. Do not use curd from supermarkets as they contain additives that may not be good in the long run. Homemade curd has the best bacteria in the world that can aid digestion. Buy coriander leaves every 2 or 3 days as leaves get oxidized if you buy in bulk and refrigerate them.
Simple salads to cure acidity
- Wash ripe tomatoes under running tap water. Finely chop them. Add curd, a pinch of black pepper powder, a pinch of salt and then finely chopped coriander leaves. Sprinkle cumin powder. (Raw tomatoes should be consumed only twice or thrice a week as they can cause cold especially during monsoons and winter; those who are prone to kidney stones should avoid eating raw tomatoes as they can increase calcium oxalate levels).
- Cucumber-Onion-Tomato-Coriander Raita:
Finely chop cucumber, onion, tomatoes and add curd and salt followed by cumin powder and black pepper powder. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
Drum Stick Leaves
Greens to cure anaemia
There was a time when no one cared about drumstick leaves. Tamil filmmaker K Bhagyaraj popularized drumsticks by claiming that they were aphrodisiacs in his blockbuster hit “Mundaanai Mudichchu”. Later the movie was remade in Hindi as “Masterji” and starred Rajesh Khanna and Sridevi in the lead. That is the power of cinema as a medium. Cine lovers still recollect the message about drumstick in the movie.
Drumstick leaves are best to cure anaemia. Earlier they were offered free by vegetable vendors but now they are being charged Rs.20/-. Pick a handful of drumstick leaves, wash them thoroughly and saunter them in 1 teaspoon ghee for exactly 7 minutes. There is no need to add water. Add a pinch of salt and cumin/black pepper powder. Regular consumption of drumstick leaves will definitely increase the blood count.
But remember that you have to wash the leaves thoroughly and remove the stems. Ensure that you buy leaves that are tender and if you are giving this to children, it makes sense to pressure cook them.
There is one more way to prepare drumstick leaves curry. Cook the leaves along with two tablespoons of moong dal. Add salt and grated coconut. Keep in low flame for 7 minutes and your leaves curry is ready.
All greens contain chlorophyll and iron. Curry leaves are an excellent remedy for controlling blood sugar when they are eaten raw on an empty stomach. Curry leaves can also improve eyesight and improve conditions like myopia and hypermetropia. Buttermilk prepared with curry leaves and coriander leaves with asafetida and salt can aid digestion. It is always better to consume curd as part of your lunch and consume buttermilk as part of your dinner.
Greens like Palak are consumed twice in a week as too many green leaves can prove to be counterproductive. Remember that we have to always consume a balanced diet.
Here is a simple recipe for a delicious and yummy salad:
Vegetables needed are Carrot, Capsicum (Green, Yellow, Red), Tomato, Baby Corn.
You also need olives, olive oil, salt, cumin powder, black pepper powder.
Slice all the vegetables in the shape of fingers (no need to chop them in small pieces). Wash them thoroughly and put them in a pan that contains 1 teaspoon Olive Oil. Sprinkle water. Add salt, pepper and cumin powder. Add olives. Do not cook them. Keep the content in medium flame for 5-7 minutes and then cover with a lid. Eat the salad hot. Let us see the health benefits of consuming this salad.
Capsicums are rich in carotenoids and antioxidants. The red and yellow capsicums are also an excellent source of folate. High in dietary fibre, capsicum enhances the digestion process and also provides relief from constipation and associated discomfort. In addition to Vitamin C and antioxidants, capsicum also has anti-inflammatory properties and comes as a boon for the skin.
Carrot has Vitamin A and carotenoids. Tomatoes are rich in Calcium, Potassium, Folate, Vitamin K, Vitamin C and the antioxidant lycopene which reduces the risk of heart disease. Baby Corn helps you lose weight because it is fibrous. It has less starch than regular corn, has proteins, Vitamins A and C and iron. As baby corn contains both soluble and insoluble fibres, it aids digestion. Corn also contains carotenoids and reduces the risk of cataract. Baby corns are a rich source of folate. The folic acid is said to play an important role in preventing neural-tube birth defects in the fetus. Pregnant women may want to add baby corn in their pregnancy diet for healthy nutrition.
Grate cabbage or chop cabbage into large leaves. Clean thoroughly under running water and add this to a pan containing 1 teaspoon Olive Oil. Stir-fry for 4 minutes. Add salt, cumin powder and olives. Keep it covered with a lid under low flame. Consume it when it is hot.
Cabbage lowers blood pressure and also lowers cholesterol levels. It is also an excellent source of Vitamin K. Packed with Vitamin C, cabbage also aids digestion.
The Final Word
Eating a balanced diet that is packed with all nutrients and minerals is essential. Greens and salads are the best antidotes for treating lifestyle diseases. Obesity is at the root cause of most ailments and if one is able to control body fat through healthy eating options, then this can lead to a healthy life. After all, “Health is Wealth”, isn’t it?