LET FOOD BE YOUR MEDICINE
NUTRACEUTICAL= NUTRITION + PHARMACEUTICAL
You might have come across the word 'nutraceutical' & you may have wondered what the meaning of that word is.
Nutraceutical refers to a food supplement that not only provides taste to the food when added but also gives many health benefits to us, to the extent of prevention or treatment of disease.
Doesn't that sound interesting? Why shall we use those medicines when we have something so natural as our food?
Let me introduce you to such amazing benefits of nutraceuticals that we can use in our lifestyle!
Natural health benefits of a few nutraceuticals:
Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a spice that is also known as dalchini in Hindi. It not only gives taste to Indian cuisine but also provides us with many health benefits.
Here are a few benefits of the same.
High source of Antioxidants: Cinnamon is packed with a variety of protective antioxidants like polyphenols, phenolic acid, & flavonoids which helps in reducing free radical damage & also slows down the ageing process.
Helps in controlling diabetes: It helps in lowering blood sugar levels by blocking certain enzymes called alanine which allows for glucose (sugar) to be absorbed into the blood. Therefore it has been shown to decrease the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream after a high-sugar meal, which is especially important for those with diabetes.
Helps in lowering the risk of cancer: Cinnamon contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde which can inhibit cancer tumour growth & protect DNA from damage, while also encouraging cancerous cells to self-destruct (called cell apoptosis).
Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is the mother of all vinegar, which has plentiful benefits. It wouldn't be wrong if it is called a multitasker. It has been touted as a "superfluid" that can do everything from lowering cholesterol to polishing your furniture. The "super-ness" of apple cider vinegar is believed to come from its high concentration of acetic acid, which improves the body's absorption of important minerals from the foods we consume.
Here are the few health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Helps in controlling blood sugar levels: Vinegar is said to be anti-glycemic & has a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels. The acetic acid in the vinegar helps in lowering the blood sugar by preventing the complete digestion of complex carbohydrates, which is accomplished either by accelerating gastric emptying or increasing the uptake of glucose by bodily tissues.
Apple cider vinegar for heart health: Polyphenols such as chlorogenic acid, which is present in high levels in apple cider vinegar, could inhibit oxidation of LDLs (bad cholesterol) & improve health by preventing cardiovascular diseases.
Apple cider vinegar for acid reflux: Acid reflux typically results from having too little acid in your stomach. Taking apple cider vinegar daily can improve the acid content of the stomach. In apple cider vinegar, there is a content called pectin which helps in soothing intestinal spasms as well.
Apple cider vinegar prevents the accumulation of fat: It contains a lot of organic acids & enzymes which help in speeding up the metabolism, which in turn increases the rate at which the body fat is burnt.
Health Benefits of Isabgol
Isabgol which is also known as Psyllium Husk is the seed of the plant called Plantago ovata. Its leaves look similar to that of Aloe vera. The plant has a big flower-like structure like wheat which contains psyllium seeds. Isabgol has a prominent space in Ayurveda. It is known for its gentle laxative, cooling as well as diuretic properties.
Here are the few benefits of Isabgol
Helps in preventing constipation: In isabgol, there is a content called soluble fibre that is hygroscopic, which aids in soaking up moisture & swelling up to form soft stools. Whereas, the insoluble fibre present in Isabgol provides enough roughness to the wastes & pushes them towards the intestine. Thus, isabgol with its properties converts the excretion of waste into an easy & painless process.
Helps in controlling Diabetes: Isabgol has a natural gelatin substance that slows down the process of breaking down & absorption of glucose in our body. So it lowers the intake of glucose & control diabetes.
Helps in treating acidity: The husk of isabgol provides a coating layer to the stomach lining cells which helps in protecting the delicate tissue from the direct hazardous effects of stomach acid.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea is one of the most commonly used teas all over the world. While many people enjoy the mild taste of green tea, it may have more benefits than simply being a refreshing beverage. It is loaded with antioxidants & nutrients that have powerful effects on the body.
Here are a few benefits of green tea
Green tea has the anti-bacterial property: Green tea contains antioxidants called catechins which hinder the development of many bacterial species.
Helps in combating allergies-a potent compound epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) present in green tea helps in combating allergies.
Helps in lowering the total cholesterol- The polyphenols present in green tea significantly reduce the level of harmful bad (LDL cholesterol) in the blood & raise the good (HDL cholesterol).
Helps in Weight loss: It contains antioxidants & polyphenols which also help in burning fat by using it as a source of energy instead of storing it & also by boosting your metabolic rates.
Preventing bone loss: The fluoride which is present in green tea helps in making the bone strong which in turn reduces the risk of osteoporosis in later life.
Health Benefits of Gugullu
Guggul is the common name for the flowering Mukul myrrh tree (Commiphora Mukul). It has been used as an Ayurvedic medicine for over two thousand years. Guggul is known by the Sanskrit name 'Guggulu,' which means, 'protects from disease'
Here are the few benefits of the Guggul
Aids in Weight Management: Gugullu contains certain compounds which activate thyroid hormones that increase the metabolic rate of the body. These hormones also play an important role in the regulation of normal metabolism thereby aiding in weight management.
Helps in lowering blood cholesterol: The resin contains guggulsterone, ketonic steroid compounds, which possess the ability to lower blood levels of LDL (Low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol in the body. These compounds also prevent plaque build-up on the arterial walls thereby preventing atherosclerosis.
Protects from infections: Guggul is a saviour that protects the body against several infections as well. Certain anti-inflammatory compounds like phenolics, alkaloids, tannins, & steroids are present in guggul, which makes it a natural fighter against infections. These compounds also eliminate the toxins & free radicals from the body, generating complete protection against various health issues.
Helps in reducing inflammation: Inflammation is the cause of several chronic diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, cancer, etc. The two powerful antioxidants (guggulipid & guggulsterone) present in Guggulu helps in fighting inflammation & stimulating your immune system.
Health Benefits of Aloe vera
Aloe Vera is a succulent plant species that has thick fleshy stems with spiny leaves. The fleshy stem contains Aloe juice which has various benefits for the skin to health.
Here are the few health benefits of the Aloe Vera juice
Aids in weight loss: Aloe Vera triggers the production of the protein collagen, which increases the metabolism process & makes sure that food is stored in the lower intestine for lesser periods. Filled with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, E, folic acid, & niacin, it is perfect to burn calories & lose body fat.
Helps in boosting immunity: It contains plenty of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, & antioxidants which help in reducing the loads of unnecessary free radicals which in turn help in boosting your immune system
Health Benefits of Triphala
Triphala is an Ayurvedic medicine. It is made by combining three fruits, one of the most important components of Triphala is amla or Indian gooseberry which is a tremendous source of vitamin C & a powerful antioxidant. It has antibacterial & anti-inflammatory properties. It helps in relieving the constipation problem & easing your system.
High source of antioxidants: Triphala contains Vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant, which helps in protecting free radical damage.
Aids in Digestion: The herbal mixture consisting of three fruits present in Triphala offers great support to the digestive system & helps in ensuring that the process of digestion is completed at its best. It also ensures the optimal working of the digestive tract.
Health Benefits of Wheatgrass Powder
The first thing that jumps to our mind when we think of wheatgrass is 'What can a grass do to my body?', but the truth will blow your mind- wheatgrass is an effective healer because it contains 70% chlorophyll, all minerals are known to man & it is loaded with vitamin A, B-complex, C, E, & K. It is extremely rich in protein & contains 17 amino acids, the building blocks of protein.
Here are the few benefits of wheatgrass powder
Helps in weight loss: Wheatgrass stimulates the thyroid glands, which helps in speeding up the metabolism. This helps overcome obesity, indigestion, & other problems relating to a slow metabolism.
Protects the free radical damage: Wheatgrass contains a large amount of beta-carotene, which protects the cell from free radical damage.
Acts as an anti-inflammatory compound: The one enzyme SOD found in wheatgrass, lessens the effects of radiation & acts as an anti-inflammatory compound that may prevent cellular damage following heart attacks or exposure to irritants.
Health Benefits of Papaya
Papaya is a magical fruit that has numerous health benefits, it also provides a good amount of potassium, vitamins A, C, & B, & phosphorous as well.
Here are the few benefits of papaya
Aids Digestion: Papaya contains an enzyme called papain that aids in digestion. As it is a natural laxative, it is great for people who suffer from gastric problems like diarrhoea, gas, constipation, etc
Boosts your immunity: Papaya contains a good amount of Vitamin C & antioxidants that help in building a stronger immune system.
Helps in preventing cancer: Papaya is a rich source of antioxidants, phytonutrients, & flavonoids that prevent cells from undergoing free radical damage, which is the main cause of cancerous cell growth in living beings.
Health Benefits of Chyawanprash
Chyawanprash is a delicious nutritive semi-solid jam-like cooked mixture that offers a wide range of health benefits.
Increases Immunity: The main ingredient in chyawanprash is (Amalaki) which aids in the elimination of toxins & strengthens the blood, the liver, the spleen, & the respiratory system; it therefore nourishes & protects the body's natural defence systems. It rejuvenates all tissues in the body & also increases overall strength & energy. It also aids in digestion & helps in boosting immunity.
Health Benefits of Buttermilk
Buttermilk is a slightly sour liquid that is made after churning curd with plain water. Buttermilk reportedly has numerous health benefits; it contains several nutrients like protein, potassium, & B-vitamins, apart from calcium as well.
Here are a few benefits of buttermilk
Fights acidity: It cools your stomach & soothes any irritation, thus helping in preventing acidity.
Aids in Digestion: Buttermilk is a natural probiotic, which means that it provides "gut-friendly" bacteria that aid in digestion.
Prevents Dehydration: Constipation & dehydration are typical health problems that occur because of water depletion within the body. Buttermilk will ensure keeping us hydrated as well as will help in curing constipation. Thus it is a handy drink in hot summers.
Health benefits of Garlic
Garlic is also known as lahsun in Hindi. It is a plant in the Allium (onion) family. It is closely related to onions, shallots, & leeks. It is mostly used in Indian cuisine, it has not only got a strong smell & delicious taste but also provides us with a wide range of health benefits.
Here are a few benefits of Garlic
Aids in digestion & also helps in boosting immunity: The high sulphur content present in garlic gives it antibiotic properties, which helps in flushing out toxins from the digestive system & also helps in building immunity against the common cold.
Have anti-fungal & anti-bacterial properties: The sulphur-containing compound, Allicin, which is found in fresh, crushed, or chewed garlic has anti-bacterial & anti-fungal properties.
Helps in Weight loss: Garlic appears to be a miracle food. It contains the compound allicin which helps reduce unhealthy fats & cholesterol in the body.
Health Benefits of Ajwain
Ajwain is also known as carom seeds in English. It is an important herb in the Indian kitchen that makes Indian cuisine tasty. It is easily available in an Indian household & also acts as an effective natural aid for a wide range of health issues.
Here are the few health benefits of Ajwain
Aids in digestion & relieves acidity: Ajwain contains high levels of thymol, a chemical, that aids in releasing gastric juices from the stomach & thus, speeds up the process of digestion & also helps in reducing the regurgitation of acids.
Helps in maintaining heart health: Due to the presence of niacin & thymol along with other vitamins, ajwain is very good at maintaining heart health. It has properties that improve nerve impulses & overall circulation within the heart.