Updated: June 30, 2020 3:05:41 pm
There is no better time than now to pay some attention to your spice rack and revisit some age-old recipes to build immunity. In fact, nutritionist and author Kavita Devgan is all for the same. “This crisis has revealed more emphatically that the Indian way of nutrition is a very effective way of building our immunity. Our traditional habits are proving to be more relevant than ever. In today’s times of short-lived food fads where a new food fad comes by every day, it is the old traditional rules of eating that can save our soul and body both, especially of our children,” she mentioned in a Live Facebook session with indianexpress.com.
“The traditional way of living celebrates home cooking. So if we can get back to that, look at old recipes. Start cooking simple, wholesome food made with fresh ingredients, sit down together and eat, try and stay positive as much as possible,” she added.
Stressing on how turmeric, an essential spice found in the kitchen, has become a buzzword these days in the wake of immunity boosting measures against viruses, Devgan explained how the it can be used, and the right way to source it. “Source pure, organic haldi. Look for haldi with three per cent curcumin and 100 per cent natural oils intact. That ensures least impurities like lead, among others. Turmeric from the Salem region of Tamil Nadu is known for its quality,” she mentioned.
“Is there anything that the golden spice cannot do? Turmeric is a brilliant flu-fighter. It is both anti-viral and it has antioxidant properties. It can truly make viral infections go away. India produces so much of turmeric that most of the turmeric worldwide goes from India, almost 100 per cent. We consume about 90 per cent of the total amount consumed,” she said.
She shared that to maximise the benefits from turmeric, one needs to pair it with a ingredient that contains some level of fat like milk or oil. “Turmeric is a fat-soluble spice meaning it requires a little amount of fat to maximise its benefits like in haldi doodh or added as a tadka to curries (with oil),” she mentioned.
Another golden rule to use the golden spice, as per Devgan, is to add a pinch of black pepper to get more out of the curcumin compound in turmeric.
Devgan’s immunity boosting tips with haldi
Haldi doodh at bedtime is the perfect way to harness turmeric’s benefits because the body can restore itself during sleep. “Turmeric, because of the compound curcumin is a positive, happy food. It helps lift the levels of neuro-chemicals in your brain, including sertonin and dopamine which are happy hormones. A lot of people are facing insomnia these days besides anxiety and sleep deprivation. Turmeric can help you sleep better. Having the super spice right at bed time can help you relax, improve your mood, help you stay positive, keep depression away and potentially lower the anxiety level,” she said.
“If milk doesn’t work for you or if you are lactose-intolerant, you can add haldi to your morning cup of tea with a little bit of ginger and pepper because both are very potent infection busters. You can begin your day fighting fit,” she said. Alternatively, one can have almond milk or coconut milk in place of regular milk.
If children make a face at the name of haldi doodh, you can give the golden milk a more delicious twist. Here’s how.
1 cup – Milk
Few drops – Vanilla essence
1 tbsp – Honey
Pinch of turmeric, pepper
Boil one cup of milk with a pinch of haldi, pepper, add a few drops of vanilla essence and mix in one tablespoon of honey. It becomes a really tasty drink.
Make small balls of jaggery, haldi and pepper and eat after every meal.
1 cup – Almond milk
1 – Chopped date/honey/jaggery
Pinch of turmeric, pepper, cinnamon and few ginger juliennes
Coconut oil (optional)
*Boil some almond milk with chopped date (or honey or jaggery) so that it nicely flavours the milk.
*Add a pinch of turmeric, pepper, cinnamon and sometimes a few shreds of ginger too.
*Finally, add a few drops of coconut oil if you wish to, and drink it.
Add haldi to all your tadkas.
If cough is persistent, gargle twice a day with warm water and a pinch of haldi.
Cut lemon peel. Soak in a jug of water with lots of mint leaves. Sip this throughout the day. Add a pinch of haldi to it and it becomes the perfect drink.
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