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Nutritional Facts, Health Benefits, and Potential Drawbacks

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Cashew, a significant member of the family of nuts, is native to Brazil, South America, and was brought to India by the Portuguese, who took it to Goa. Produced on a tropical evergreen tree, these nuts are sweet in taste and have a creamy consistency. Raw, roasted, salted, unsalted, you can find cashews in any of these forms. This nut also manages to find its way into a variety of dishes, some of which are an inseparable part of Indian traditions and festivals, be it curry, kheer, biryani, or even kaju katli! Aside from being an easy addition to a wide spectrum of dishes, these tree nuts have been used to make certain dairy alternatives like cashew milk, cashew butter, and cashew cheese too.

In addition to having a variety of health benefits, like helping with stomach and abdominal illnesses, Cashews, also ensure that you have hair and skin that is desirable. Furthermore, through this post, we will dive deep and have a better look at the nutritional structure of cashew, its health benefits, and some of its possible drawbacks.

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Nutritional Facts

Just like any other important nut, cashews are a storehouse of energy and essential nutrients. They help your body in significant ways and work towards making you a healthier individual. To have the exact information about the nutritional contents of cashews, the measurements of 1 serving of cashews (28.35 grams/ approx 18 cashews) is given below:

  • 157 calories
  • 8.56 g of carbohydrate
  • 0.9 g of fiber
  • 5.17 g of protein
  • 12.43 g of total fat
  • 1.68 g of sugar

Other Nutrients include:

  • 10 mg of calcium 
  • 0.62 mg of copper
  • 1.89 mg of iron
  • 1.64 mg of zinc
  • 83 mg of magnesium 
  • 168 mg of phosphorus
  • 187 mg of potassium
  • 3 mg of sodium

Apart from these nutrients, one can also find Vitamin B and C in cashews. They are also a great source of proteins in one’s diet and contain good amounts of unsaturated fats.

7 Health Benefits of Cashews

This festival-favourite nut appears to be a source of nutrients that can mitigate many health conditions. We will take a look at a few top health benefits here: 

1. Great for natural eye-protection

Improves natural eye protection

With Indian cities ranking amongst some of the most highly polluted cities across the world, we know how bad the environment has become for us. From the never-ending traffic jams to the harmful UV rays and our screen time increasing every day, the stress on our eyes is getting a lot. Cashews contain a strong antioxidant pigment that is directly absorbed by the retina. This helps in the formation of a layer on our eyes which protects us from harmful UV rays. 

The strength of our eyes deteriorates with age (specifically macular degeneration), but certain studies have shown that a regular intake of the antioxidant provided by cashews can help slow that down too!

2. Helps prevent blood diseases

Cashews are a rich source of copper, which helps in combating any infection and maintaining your immune system. It is widely known that copper, along with iron, helps the body in preparing red blood cells.

3. Boosts and helps prepare a healthy heart

Boosts and helps prepare a healthy heart

It has been proven by multiple studies that nuts, such as cashews, are full of nutrients like protein, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and unsaturated fatty acids. These help in providing anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and heart-protective characteristics. Adding to this, inflammation and vascular reactions are also kept in check with a regular intake of the nutrients provided by these nuts. Cashews also contain unsaturated fatty acids that help keep cholesterol levels in check, thereby, reducing any hazards like stroke, cardiovascular diseases, and heart attacks.

4. Aids in weight loss

Regular intake of cashew nuts can regulate weight loss and even make it faster. They contain Omega 3 fatty acids that can boost a person’s metabolism. This helps in getting rid of any excess fat. Cashew nuts provide rich fiber and protein content with lesser calories, helping you stay full for long.

5. Improves the health of skin and hair

Healthy skin and shiny hair

Cashews are rich in selenium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, and magnesium, which can be wonderful for your skin. It is also a source of proteins, antioxidants, and plant-based chemicals that aid in keeping your skin healthy and avoid any wrinkles. As it contains antioxidants, cashews promote new cells to grow to ensure that the skin’s elasticity remains intact.

According to various experts, eating cashews and applying cashew nut oil to one’s scalp can help in the production of a pigment known as melanin — the copper present in cashews aids with this. There are also certain oleic and linoleic acids present that lend a silky finish to the hair and improve hair colour.

6. Boosts your gut

Cashews are rich in dietary fiber which helps in the digestion process and also provides food for the gut-friendly bacteria. This helps in good gut health and prevents intestinal issues.

7. Strengthens your bones

Improves Bone Health

In addition to calcium, magnesium is also extremely crucial for healthy bones. Both of them in balance can help in bettering nerve regulation and muscle toning. Magnesium keeps calcium in check, and cashews can act as a great source for it.

Potential Downsides of Cashews

While we have praised cashews immensely for being a storehouse of fantastic nutrients, there are some possible downsides to their consumption.

  • Raw cashews that have not been processed at all can be risky to consume as they have a toxic substance (usually found in poison ivy). If contact is made with it, one can be at the receiving end of skin reactions. Thus, it is best to choose dry roasted or raw cashew varieties.
  • Cashew nuts also contain phytates that can make it troublesome for your body to be able to absorb the minerals and vitamins that the nuts have. However, Soaking nuts can reduce the phytate content.
  • People who are usually allergic to tree nuts can be allergic to cashews as well.
  • Cashews have a noticeable amount of oxalic acid, and if not consumed in moderate amounts, they can be an issue for people who have kidney ailments, and those who are at risk of getting kidney stones.

Summary

All in all, cashew nuts are a super nutritious food that can provide you with amazing health benefits. Right from your heart to your gut, these kidney-shaped nuts seem to have taken care of a variety of ailments all by themselves. With just a regular intake of cashews, you can make sure that you receive many favorable nutrients. Stored properly in an air-tight container, you will be able to enjoy these tasty snacks throughout the year. Just remember that too much of everything is bad and one should keep a watch on their consumption. Other than that, these deliciously creamy nuts are the way to go!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are roasted cashews better for one’s health than raw cashews?

A. Raw cashews are better than roasted, as roasting can destroy the good omega3 fatty acids which can lower cholesterol.

Q. Can vegans consume cashews in their diet?

A. Cashews are a plant food source and can safely be consumed by vegans.

Q. How many cashews should one eat in a day?

A. 1 serving of cashews is approximately 30 grams or about 15-18 cashews.

Q. Can cashews be bad for your health?

A. Since cashews are high in calories and fat, portion control is important. Also, the anti nutrient compounds in cashews may not be suitable for kidney patients if eaten in large amounts. Cashews are also not suited for anyone with nut allergy.

Q. Is it okay to eat a cashew apple?

A. Yes, cashew apples can be eaten raw or cooked but do not eat the nut attached to it as it contains a toxin. The nut needs to be dried before eating it.

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HEALTH

Carrots: Top 9 Benefits, Healthy Recipes, and More: HealthifyMe Blog

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There are many reasons why you should root for carrots! Carrots are loaded with nutrients and lend themselves to a wide range of delicious dishes. Although the vegetable is popularly associated with improving eyesight, their benefits go much beyond.

Historical records show carrots were cultivated in Persia and Afghanistan in the 10th century. However, in those days, this root vegetable had little resemblance to what we eat now and came in different colors, like purple yellow, red, and white. While it cannot be confirmed, it is said that the Dutch developed the carrots that we eat today. There are many types of carrots with varying sizes, flavors, and tastes. However, when it comes to health benefits, all varieties of carrots are equally healthy and full of essential nutrients. 

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Nutritional value of carrots

Raw carrots (1 medium-sized carrot) – 29 calories 

  • Protein – 0.6g
  • Carbohydrates – 5.8g
  • Dietary fiber – 1.7g
  • Fat – 0.1g

Carrots are the richest plant-based source of a type of carotenoid called beta-carotene with 8285 micrograms of beta-carotene per100 grams. 

An interesting fact about carrots is that their nutritional value changes – for the better – when cooked. Most other vegetables tend to lose their nutrient value after they are cooked. Studies show more of beta-carotene is absorbed by the body when carrots are eaten cooked rather than the raw form. 

Top 9 benefits of consuming carrots

Here’s a complete lowdown on all the amazing benefits that carrots bring:

#1 Boosts the immune system 

Carrots boost the immune system

Our immune system is made up of many organs and specialized cells, such as white blood cells. One type of WBCs called lymphocytes (T and B lymphocytes) recognize harmful invaders and produce antibodies to destroy them. Other types of WBCs, called phagocytes, protect the body by ingesting harmful bacteria and viruses. Many studies show beta-carotene, which comes from carrots, protects phagocytic cells from getting damaged and boosts the response of T and B lymphocytes. 

#2 Promotes eye health

carrots promote eye health

Vitamin A, in recommended quantities, is essential for good vision, and carrots offer this nutrient in abundance. When a person is deprived of vitamin A for too long, the outer segment of the eye’s photoreceptors begin to deteriorate, thereby leading to night blindness and other eye-related problems. Therefore, including it in your diet will not only keep you healthy but also facilitate healthy vision. 

#3 Aids weight loss

carrots aid weight loss

Looking to lose weight?! Carrots are a great addition to your diet as they are low in calories and high in fiber content.  Carrot sticks will keep you full until lunch and thus will stop you from bingeing. Moreover, carrots help in bile secretion which helps to burn fat and thus aid weight loss

#4 Nourishes and keeps hair healthy

Nourish and keeps hair healthy

Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is an important nutrient that is linked to the health of many tissues, including hair, skin, and sebaceous glands (oil glands in the skin). An animal model study showed that dietary vitamin A accelerates hair growth by activating the stem cells in hair follicles.

#5 Creates glowing skin

Some common skin problems are dullness, dryness, scars, and wrinkles. Beta-carotene present in carrots is converted to vitamin A in the liver. Vitamin A and it’s derivative called retinoids are known to play a key role in many cellular processes, including growth and differentiation of cells. Studies show that retinoids stimulate the growth of new cells thereby promoting firmer, healthier, and younger-looking skin

#6 Protects your teeth 

 Helps protect your teeth

Low levels of vitamin A impacts oral health and is linked to periodontitis (gum infection) and gingivitis (gum inflammation), which can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene that provides adequate vitamin A. Chewing carrots can also help fight plaque by generating saliva that exerts an anti-bacterial effect.

#7 Can help lower blood pressure

Carrots are rich in potassium, which helps in controlling blood pressure. Potassium helps your kidneys work more efficiently and neutralizes the effect of high salt intake that is linked to blood pressure.

#8 Promotes digestion

Carrots are a fair source of dietary fiber providing about five grams in each. Fiber encourages the growth of beneficial gut bacteria that promote digestion, apart from preventing constipation.

#9 Promotes overall health

carrots promote overall good health

Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. Many chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, cancers, and heart disease, are linked to ‘free radical damage.’ Free radicals are produced in the body during metabolism, but also have external sources such as cigarette smoke and air pollution. Antioxidants in carrots neutralize these free radicals to promote health.

3 Healthy recipes to consume carrots

Carrots’ sweet and earthy taste is a wonderful flavor to feature. There are many ways you can include them in your everyday diet. Here are some delicious carrot recipes that give your bag of forgotten carrots the attention it deserves. Each one of them takes advantage of the vegetable’s unique sweet and earthy flavor in sugary, savory, and spicy ways you probably haven’t seen or experienced before. 

#1 Carrot lettuce wrap

carrot lettuce wrap
  • Serves 2
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 5 minutes
Ingredients:
  • Fresh iceberg lettuce: 2 leaves
  • Ginger grated: ½ teaspoon
  • Garlic – 2 cloves finely chopped
  • Green chili – 2
  • Onions sliced – 1 
  • Carrot julienned – 1 small
  • Sweet corn – 3 tablespoon
  • Lime juice – 1 tablespoon
  • Soy and chili sauce: 1 teaspoon each or to taste
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon
Method: 
For the filling:
  • Heat oil in a pan and add ginger, garlic, green chilies, onions, and stir fry for a minute.
  • Add sweet corn and carrots. Add lime juice, soy, and chili sauce and sauté for one minute.
  • Remove from heat and add salt to taste.
For the roll:
  • Wash and separate lettuce leaves. Spoon in 1 to 2 tablespoon of the filling in each leaf.  
  • Roll and serve.

#2 Carrot sprouts paratha 

carrot and sprouts paratha
  • Serves 2
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes
Ingredients:
  • Carrot – 1 medium chopped
  • Potato – 1 small
  • Green gram sprouts – 2 tablespoons
  • Whole wheat or multigrain flour – 3 cups
  • Ginger chopped – ¼ teaspoon
  • Dry mango powder and black pepper powder – ¼ teaspoon each
  • Oil for shallow frying
  • Coriander leaves chopped – 1 tablespoon
  • Red chili powder – ¼ teaspoon
  • Salt to taste
Method:
  • Pressure cook carrots and potatoes.
  • Lightly steam sprouts.
  • Grind carrots in a mixer to make a puree and mash potatoes.
  • Mix all ingredients to make a smooth dough. Cover and keep for 30 minutes.
  • Pinch small size balls of dough. Sprinkle some flour and roll the paratha to about the same size as that of a roti.
  • Heat a pan over medium heat and place the rolled paratha. Once the base is partially cooked, flip the paratha. Brush little oil and cook. Once brown spots appear, flip on the other side, cook well and serve.

#3 Carrot sunshine drink 

carrot sunshine drink
  • Serves 4
  • Preparation time 10 minutes
Ingredients:
  • Carrots peeled and chopped – ¾ cup
  • Tomatoes chopped – 1.5 cups
  • Oranges – 2 medium separated into segments
  • Lemon juice – few drops
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Crushed ice – 1 cup (optional)
  • Organic Honey – 1 teaspoon (optional)
Method:
  • Combine all ingredients and blend in the juicer by adding half-cup of water
  • Put crushed ice in four glasses and pour the juice and serve immediately

Summary

Carrots are super rich sources of fiber, beta-carotene, and minerals; while being low in calories and sugar. From boosting eye health to promoting immunity, carrots offer wide-ranging health benefits. While they are commercially available year-round, these versatile root vegetables are simple to add to meals whether raw or cooked. 

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6 Health Benefits of Ghee You Should Know About

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Ghee is a healthy source of saturated fats that can deliver many vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to the body. A kind of clarified butter, ghee is made by simmering butter until it reaches a high temperature of around 485°F. At this temperature, milk solids and water get separated leaving behind a light-colored liquid called ghee.

Traditional to India and a staple across Indian, Southeast Asian, and Middle Eastern cuisines, the health benefits of ghee, its aromatic flavor and slightly nutty taste has turned this ingredient into a fan favorite across many households worldwide. 

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Is Ghee Good for your Health?

Is Ghee Good for your Health?

Ghee is a source of saturated fats. And the role, saturated fats have to play when it comes to cardiovascular diseases is a continuing topic of debate among health experts. However, the human body cannot function without any saturated fats either. 

While an excessive amount of saturated fats is unhealthy, it is essential in limited quantities. Saturated fats and proper brain functioning are closely related. So while ghee does contain saturated fats, using a limited amount of ghee can both enhance the flavor of the food and deliver essential fats to the body. 

What this shows is that most normal people will experience, little to no health problems from consuming ghee. However, this may not hold for people who are already predisposed to certain hereditary diseases like heart diseases. This predisposition can result from genetic factors or other factors. 

6 Health Benefits of Ghee You Should Know About

Ghee is not just an ingredient used in cooking, but a part of India’s heritage in traditional medicine – the Ayurvedic tradition of healing. In ancient times, ghee was considered to be food sacred to the Gods. And this was how ghee started finding use in everything from lighting lamps, to being used in religious rituals, to being consumed as a health supplement. 

As it turns out, ghee has a lot to offer healthwise:

#1 Positively affects the nervous system

positively affects the nervous system

Ghee positively affects not just the central nervous system in the brain, but also the enteric nervous system in the gut. Ghee contains many vitamins and minerals that regulate and repair the gut lining which in turn is important for brain health as well. 

#2 Rich source of Butyric acid

Ghee is a rich source of butyric acid. Butyric acid is a kind of short-chain fatty acid that improves and supports probiotic bacteria that is present in the stomach. Ghee also has additional benefits, such as balancing the amount of hydrochloric acid present in the stomach and assisting the production of bile in the liver. 

#3 Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids

Ghee is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids

These are also known as essential fatty acids that the body cannot make and need to be supplied through food. Ghee is rich in DHA, a type of omega 3 fatty acid, which has been linked to brain development, reducing inflammation, slowing down the aging process, and many more functions. 

 #4 Important source of fat-soluble Vitamins

Ghee is a rich source of important fat-soluble vitamins

Ghee is a rich source of important fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, E, K2, and D. The body absorbs fat-soluble vitamins best when a person eats them with higher-fat foods like ghee. These vitamins have many functions like improving immunity, good vision, and good antioxidant effects.

#5 Conjugated linoleic acid

Also known as CLA, this acid is known for its ability to reduce tumors in the body, lower the amount of blood cholesterol, and improve and stabilize blood pressure. Ghee is a good source of CLA. 

#6 Powerful antioxidant abilities

Ghee has powerful antioxidant abilities

The presence of vitamin E provides ghee with powerful antioxidant abilities. Ghee is also known to be good for the skin, as well as the hair. People don’t just consume ghee, but use it to make homemade face masks, hair masks, and more. As ghee retains its structural integrity at very high cooking temperatures, it becomes a great ingredient to be used in dishes that involve frying, sauteing, and other techniques that involve cooking on high heat. Ghee is both a popular source of essential nutrients, as well as an important flavoring ingredient in many contemporary dishes. Popular dieting programs, like the Keto diet, among others, have already led many people towards this delicious ingredient. 

How to make ghee at home – Recipe

Ghee can be expensive to buy, but it can be made at home easily by following a few simple steps. 

How to make ghee at home
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes 
  • Cooking Time: 15 mins approximately

Ingredients: 

  • Butter – 250g
  • A saucepan
  • A strainer
  • Cheesecloths 

Method:

  • Cut the butter into equal cubes. 
  • Place them into the saucepan. 
  • Heat the butter on medium heat until the butter melts. 
  • Bring the pan to a simmer and allow the butter to reduce for fifteen minutes maximum.
  • Watch out for foaming during this time. 
  • When the contents of the pan foam for a second time, turn off the heat. 
  • Leave to rest for 3 minutes. 
  • Strain the contents through a wire mesh lined with cheesecloth. 

The golden yellow liquid you get is ghee. 

Summary

Ghee is an important source of essential nutrients, fat-soluble vitamins, and good saturated fats. Ghee has also been linked to fat loss, so anyone looking to maintain a healthy diet without losing out on important fats should turn to ghee.

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8 Health Benefits of Cardamom: HealthifyMe Blog

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Indian cuisine is colourful, flavourful, and the spices are not only tasty but they also come with health benefits that have been well chronicled since ancient times. One such spice among many others is Cardamom. Traditionally, Cardamom was considered as a herb and was one of the main ingredients in Ayurveda. Cardamom was believed to be a cure for mouth infections, throat problems, congestion of the chest, gastrointestinal disorders and was also used as an antidote for poison and venom. 

Today, cardamom ranks among the most expensive spices in the world. Renowned for its aroma and flavour, Cardamom is used in numerous recipes from spicy dishes to desserts and beverages. With the number of options steadily growing, more and more people consider supplementing cardamom into their diet for overall health. 

Table of Contents

Nutritional Value of Cardamom 

100 grams of cardamom contains:

  • Protein: 11 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Carbs: 68 g
  • Total Fat: 7 g
  • Calorific Value: 311 kcal

Cardamom is a type of spice made from the seed pods of plants in the ginger family. Cardamom pods are spindle-shaped with a triangular cross-section. These pods contain a number of seeds, but the entire cardamom pod can be used whole and discarded or ground to powder. The seeds are black and small, while the pods vary in colour and size by its species.

8 Health Benefits of Cardamom

Cardamom like most spices comes packed with tons of nutrients to nourish your body. Medicinal healers have been using Cardamom as a popular medicinal plant for over 5,000 years. Cardamom comes in three different varieties, but green Cardamom is by far the most popular for both culinary and medicinal use. It contains high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and other micronutrients. These minerals and vitamins work together to give cardamom plenty of health benefits. We will be discussing a few in the below-given section:

1. Reduces High Blood Pressure

Cardamom is known to regulate high blood pressure with daily intake due to its diuretic effect. Rich in antioxidants, it helps detoxify the blood and expel water collected around important organs by promoting frequent urination.

2. Corrects Digestive Ailments

healthy digestion

Indians use Cardamom in almost every dish because it aids in proper digestion. The medicinal properties of cardamom can help clear stomach ulcers, acid reflux and other gastrointestinal problems.

3. Fights Bad Bacteria

Since Cardamom is rich in antioxidants and other bacteria-fighting properties, your oral health will be great if you consume it regularly. Cardamom kills the unhealthy bacteria present on the palate and tongue, thus fighting bad breath.

4. Relaxes You

Cardamom has a relaxing effect on people due to their antioxidants. It also fights the build-up of cortisol in your body, thus reducing stress and promoting easy breathing. Sniffing cardamom essential oil or chewing a piece of it helps to beat stress as it is refreshing.

5. Post-Surgery Recovery

The hours after surgery are filled with disorientation and dizziness. Cardamom and its essential oils combined with ginger, lemon and lavender help to clear your head, beat nausea and feel relaxed while you are awake.

6. Soothes and Reduces Inflammation

Cardamom also clears the sinuses for easier breathing. In case you have a form of respiratory inflammation, Cardamom may help clear any infection, bacteria or swelling with its antioxidants.

7. Relieves Respiratory Ailments

Asthma and wheezing can be reduced by using Cardamom in addition to regular medicine. It helps to clear the nasal passage and chest of phlegm to promote easier breathing. It also improves your oxygen intake by helping your lungs to relax in order to breathe long and deep.

8. Cardamom Benefits on The Skin And Hair

Clear Skin – Acne-prone skin will find Cardamom of use since it controls the flow of sebum and clears out all clogged pores.

Softer Lips – Chapped lips are no more concerned due to the antioxidants present in Cardamom.

2 Healthy ways to add cardamom to your diet 

There are multiple healthy cardamom recipes that are not just delicious, but come loaded with other nutritious ingredients. Let’s find the different ways to use Cardamom to spice up your cooking. 

#1 Banana Cardamom smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 large frozen banana
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 pitted dates
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1/4 cup Almond milk
  • 1 pinch salt

Method:

  • Add the frozen banana, Greek yogurt, dates, ginger, milk, cardamom, and salt to a blender.
  • Puree on high until completely smooth, pour into glasses and serve chilled.

#2 Cardamom Rice Pulav

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • Seeds from 7 cardamom pod, bruised
  • 1 cup Basmati brown rice
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Method:

  • Put a medium saucepan over low heat and pour in the oil.
  • Add the onion to the hot oil; add cardamom seeds and continue to cook and stir for about 3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
  • Increase the heat to medium and add in the rice. Cook and stir until it is warmed through.
  • Increase the heat, pour in the broth, stir, and bring to a boil.
  • Toss in the lemon zest, season with salt and pepper, and stir well.
  • Decrease heat, cover, and cook the rice until it is tender and has absorbed all (or almost all) of the liquid, 10-15 minutes, depending on the rice you’ve used.
  • Remove the pan from heat and let the rice sit for 2 minutes before fluffing it with a fork and serve hot.

Summary

Used in the preparation of food, tea, and dessert, Cardamom is integrated in such a way that everybody can reap its long-term health benefits. Cardamom may seem like a humble spice but it is a powerful medicine that can be used to live a disease-free life. So what are you waiting for? Add that extra dash of flavor in your mundane foods to get a load of health benefits along with its lovely flavor and aroma. 



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Triphala: 8 Health Benefits; Nutritional Facts, and Recipes

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Triphala, which directly translates to ‘three kinds of fruits’ in Sanskrit, is a herbal medicine that has continued to be an important part of the Ayurvedic tradition of healing in India. Triphala is made by combining three Indian superfruits – Amalaki, Bibhitaka and Haritaki. These three traditional fruits have powerful medicinal value owing to their anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidising properties.

Since ages, Ayurveda has made use of the healing abilities of various plants. When these plants and herbs are combined, they become potent concoctions that can help you heal from a variety of diseases and conditions. Triphala is, therefore, an important and powerful Ayurvedic medicine and has become increasingly popular over the last few years. It is suitable for consumption by adults, children, and the elderly. This ayurvedic medicine is known for aiding digestion, supporting bowel functions, and since it is an excellent antioxidant, it strengthens the overall immune system and helps in getting rid of toxic waste from the body. 

Table of Contents 

Nutritional Value of Triphala

Half a teaspoon of Triphala has about 10 calories. It consists entirely of carbohydrates and doesn’t contain any fats or proteins. 

The Ayurvedic tradition is not in complete disagreement with science when it comes to the nutritional and health benefits of Triphala. As it turns out, Triphala is a powerful medicine that can cure various health conditions and heal your body. Triphala is a potent medicine mainly because of the properties that its three primary ingredients contain:

Amalaki

Also known as Phyllanthus Emblica or the Indian gooseberry, Amalaki is a rich source of Vitamin C. One single Amalaki fruit contains approximately 3000 mg of Vitamin C. It is also abundant in minerals, and plant compounds such as phyllembelic acid, tannins, rutin, phenols, and curcuminoids. Amalaki is added to Triphala for its ability to regulate blood sugar levels, strengthen the body’s immune system and detoxify the mouth, as well as the liver. 

Bibhitaka

The second fruit used in making Triphala is Bibhitaka, or Terminalia bellirica, and is known for the healing effects it has on the body’s lungs. Bibhitaka has astringent properties and helps body remove Kapha dosha by helping expel water from the lungs, the urinary tract and the digestive tract. 

Bibhitaki is also good at fighting off bacterial and viral infections, and the presence of tannins, flavones and other compounds adds to the medicinal benefits it brings to your body. Two phytochemicals in particular – ellagic acid and gallic acid – regulate your body weight and your blood sugar levels. 

Haritaki

The third fruit, Haritaki, has the scientific name Terminalia chebula. This fruit is also known as ‘black myrobalan.’ Haritaki addresses the airy Vata dosha in the body. It strengthens your immune system, is known for its laxative properties, and helps regenerate body tissues. Haritaki has also been linked to aiding heart disease, ulcers, asthma and more. The presence of phytochemicals like polyphenols and terpenes, among others, makes this fruit a powerhouse capable of delivering various health benefits. 

8 Health Benefits of Triphala

The health benefits of Triphala extend beyond the Ayurvedic community. Some choose to consume it with food, but Triphala is known to be best taken on an empty stomach in the morning or right before going to bed at night. 

1. Helps in controlling diabetes

Prevent Diabetes

Triphala is known for helping patients with Type 2 Diabetes. A recent article published in the International Journal of Ayurvedic Medicine revealed that Triphala helps in regularising blood sugar and cholesterol levels in your body. The phytochemicals in bibhitaka promote insulin secretion from the pancreas thereby lowering sugar levels and improving insulin resistance. 

2. Good antioxidant

Triphala is a rich source of polyphenols that can fight against free radicals. Free radicals are molecules within your body that can cause cell damage and lead to harmful illnesses if left unchecked. Rich antioxidants in Triphala reduce any oxidative stress and reduce inflammation. Triphala is high in Vitamin C and antiinflammatory properties, so it can stimulate the production of WBC and enhance its function, it also helps in producing antibodies to fight against infection, pathogens and viruses. If you suffer from allergies, then Triphala could be the perfect antidote. It has strong anti-inflammatory powers that bring relief from any pain or discomfort.

3. Helps improve digestive health

Digestive health

Triphala is a good natural laxative and can help you loosen your stools and improve bowel movements. It is also a good contender for dealing with IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Triphala also strengthens the digestive tract by increasing the number of good bacteria in your intestinal tract. 

4. Good immunomodulator

A study published in The Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences found that Triphala helps boost your immune system.as well as acts as an immunosuppressant. Regular consumption of triphala can help fight infections and help in controlling allergies due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

5. Boosts dental health

Boosts dental health

Triphala has strong restorative effects on the gums and teeth. An article published in The Indian Journal of Dental Research found that a mouthwash made using Triphala and water was as effective as any medically prescribed mouthwash (which has chlorhexidine as a major ingredient). Triphala helps eliminate oral germs from your mouth, helping you maintain your dental health well.

6. Helps improve hair and skin quality

Triphala is known to be very popular in improving hair quality in both males and females. Both consuming Triphala and applying a Triphala paste in your hair is beneficial. Since Triphala boosts digestive health, it inadvertently makes your hair strong and luscious. 

Triphala also has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Applying a paste in your hair can help you get a squeaky clean scalp. Triphala is also used to deal with skin conditions such as severe acne and eczema.

7. Aids in weight loss

Triphala aids weight loss

Consumption of Triphala powder can help you lose excess weight, especially in your abdomen and thighs. This helps maintain a healthy weight and keep high-risk diseases such as heart attacks, high blood pressure, diabetes and bad cholesterol at bay.

8. Enhances vision

If you are looking to maintain good eye health and vision, Triphala is a strong contender. It has ocular enhancing properties, which helps you enhance vision and also protects you from severe eye ailments such as cataract or glaucoma. This can be achieved by regular consumption of Triphala in any form. Doctors also prescribe Triphala water to cleanse eyes. However, you shouldn’t do so unless recommended by a Doctor.

Best Ways to Incorporate Triphala

Triphala is mostly available in three forms. You can either get it as a tablet, a capsule, or in powder form. The best time to consume Triphala is typically between half an hour to two hours before your meals. If you are using Triphala as a curative for constipation, then the best time to consume it is before going to sleep.The dosage of triphala pills or capsules is suggested on the bottle or by a medical practitioner. Liquid extract form can be used for external application on hair or skin. Powdered form of triphala can be mixed with water and consumed.

Triphala powder is commonly mixed with honey or a few drops of lemon juice since it can be pretty bitter if consumed independently. Traditionally, the best way to take Triphala powder is as Triphala water or Triphala tea. Read through the below recipes and choose the way you’d like to consume Triphala powder.

Triphala Left Overnight

Preparation time: 10 minutes 
Cooking time: None.

Ingredients:

  • ½ tsp. Triphala powder
  • 250ml water

Method:

  • Take Triphala powder and add it to a glass of water. 
  • Mix well.
  • Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature overnight. 
  • Consume the next morning on an empty stomach. 

This method also helps you in losing weight and maintaining good skin health.

Triphala Tea

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/4th tsp Triphala powder 
  • 250 ml water
  • 1 inch Cinnamon stick 
  • 1 tsp. Honey or maple syrup(optional)

Method:

  • Add between Triphala powder to water in a pan. 
  • Bring to a simmer and let it boil.
  • Add cinnamon sticks and honey or maple syrup if you want, let it simmer.
  • Remove the tea from the boil and pour yourself a cup. 

Summary

Triphala is a great Ayurvedic restorative that has various curative and healing properties. A part of Indian tradition for centuries, recent scientific evidence has corroborated much of what Ayurvedic healers have long propagated about the health benefits of Triphala. If you are looking for a powerful health supplement that can boost your body and make you feel lively and energetic, then Triphala is the perfect solution for your holistic healing.



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Nutritional Facts, Health Benefits, and 3 Summer Recipes

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The juicy and scarlet red seeds of the pomegranate fruit have long been consumed for their taste and numerous health benefits. Pomegranate has been a part of folk medicine to date. The fruit has now become incredibly popular for its nutritional value and is a crucial part of several healthy diets. 

Table of Contents

Nutritional Benefits of Pomegranate

Pomegranates are one of the most nutrition-dense fruits on Earth. A single cup (174 grams) of pomegranate seeds provides the following:

  • Fiber – 7 grams
  • Protein – 3 grams
  • Vitamin K – 36% of your RDI
  • Vitamin C – 30% of your RDI
  • Potassium – 12% of your RDI
  • Folate – 16% of your RDI

Apart from having a plethora of nutrients, pomegranates contain several formidable plant compounds; some of them have medicinal properties. Pomegranate juice contains diverse groups of polyphenols, including ellagitannins, gallotannins, and ellagic acid, as well as flavonoids, such as anthocyanins. However, its antioxidant activity is mainly due to punicalagin, anthocyanins, Punicic acid, and ellagic acid.

Punicalagins – This is a very strong plant antioxidant. It is found in the peel and juice of the pomegranate. Pomegranate juice has thrice the number of antioxidants compared to green tea and red wine. To harness this high antioxidant content, pomegranate powder and extract are sourced from the peel.

Punicic Acid – This compound is a fatty acid present in the pomegranate seeds or arils. It is an oil that is extracted from the seeds. It’s filled with conjugated linoleic acid; a potent oil with numerous biologic effects.

8 Health Benefits of Pomegranate

Pomegranates have numerous health benefits, such as:

1. Lowers risk of heart disease

heart health

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of premature death. A four-week study examined 51 patients with high triglyceride levels. They received 800 mg of pomegranate seed oil (punicic acid) per day for four weeks. When their triglyceride levels were measured after these four weeks, they had significantly reduced numbers.

2. Anti-inflammatory effects

Many diseases such as Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease are driven by chronic inflammation. Pomegranates have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that are mediated by plant compounds called punicalagin. These antioxidants reduce inflammation in the digestive tract. 

A 12-weeks study examined people with type 2 diabetes and inflammation. When these patients had 250ml of pomegranate juice every day, it lowered several inflammatory markers such as interleukin-6 and CRP by up to 32%.

3. Lowers blood pressure

Check blood pressure

High blood pressure is a key factor in strokes and heart attacks. In one study, patients received 150 ml of pomegranate juice every day for 14 days. These patients had a significant decrease in their systolic blood pressure.

4. Helps combat cancer

A review of Pomegranate in prostate cancer has found pomegranate extract capable of slowing cancer cell reproduction and even inducing death in cancerous cells.

PSA or prostate-specific antigen is a blood marker that is used to identify the presence of prostate cancer. Men who have to develop twice the amount PSA in a short duration are at high risk for death from prostate cancer. However, a study found that by drinking 237ml of pomegranate juice each day, it doubled PSA time from 15 to 54 months. 

5. Combats bacterial and fungal infections

Punicic acid and punicalagin in pomegranate help fight microorganisms. For instance, these two compounds combat fungal infections caused by Candida albicans. Their antifungal and antibacterial effects may act as barriers against dental infections such as periodontitis, denture stomatitis, tooth plaque, and gingivitis.

6. Pomegranate keeps premature aging at bay

Premature aging

Premature aging occurs when free radicals begin to form in our body due to exposure to the Sun and other harmful environmental toxins. Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants, which help tackle free radicals and prevent their formation. This helps your skin appear younger and plumper by keeping fine lines and wrinkles at bay.

7. Helps fight arthritis and other joint pains

Reduces arthritis

Since pomegranates have anti-inflammatory properties, they are strong contenders for fighting arthritis and other joint pains. They help relieve the discomfort and pain caused due to joint problems and enable you to live more comfortably. Consumption of pomegranate extract at least two times a day blocks the enzymes that are responsible for causing immense joint pains in people suffering from arthritis. It is recommended that you consume pomegranate extract for at least 12 weeks before this benefit starts reflecting in your body.

8. It boosts exercise performance 

Pomegranate boosts exercise performance

Your muscles can feel incredibly sore after a workout session. This makes you feel exhausted for several days and can even be quite uncomfortable for many people. Regular consumption of pomegranate juice has shown to be highly effective in delaying the onset of fatigue letting you work out for longer and also reducing muscle soreness post-workout

Best ways to incorporate Pomegranate (healthy Indian recipes)

1. Pomegranate and Mint Raita

Pomegranate and Mint Raita
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Serves: 2 people

This raita can be enjoyed as a side dish with pulao or paratha.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup of chopped mint leaves
  • 1 cup of fresh yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of water

Directions:

  • Put the yogurt in a bowl and beat it well. 
  • Add the water, salt, and red chili powder.
  • Mix in the mint leaves and pomegranate seeds.
  • Add a little cumin powder and mix well.
  • Pour the raita into a serving bowl and top it with the rest of the cumin powder.

2. Pomegranate Detox Tea

Pomegranate Detox Tea
  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Serves: 2 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Pomegranate seeds
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Organic Honey (optional)
  • 1/2 cup green tea (brewed)

Procedure:

  • In a saucepan, add water, pomegranate seeds, and bring it to a boil on a medium flame for 4-5 minutes.
  • Cool it slightly and blend it till smooth consistency. Strain mixture to avoid big lumps.
  • Mix brewed green tea, lemon juice, Organic Honey, and serve immediately.

*Can be served warm and can be served chilled too.

3. Summer Pomegranate Slush

Summer Pomegranate Slush
  • Prep time: 6 hours
  • Serves: 2 people

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Pomegranate seeds 
  • 0.25 tsp – Pink salt 
  • 0.25 tsp – Roasted cumin seeds powder
  • 1 tbsp – Organic Honey / Maple syrup 

Procedure:

  • Keep 1-2 tbsp seeds aside and blend rest in a mixer till smooth.
  • Strain mixture if you don’t like pulpy slush.
  • In a mixing bowl add pomegranate mixture, pink salt, cumin powder, and Organic Honey or Maple syrup.
  • Mix well and transfer mixture to a shallow container. Freeze it for 6 hours.
  • Remove it from the freezer and keep aside for 5-7 minutes.
  • Scrape it with a spoon and serve in glasses garnished with Pomegranate seeds.

Summary

Pomegranates are nature’s bounty. This delightful fruit is filled with nutrition-packed benefits. From relieving inflammation to combating cancer, this superfood offers a lot of health benefits. Try to incorporate one pomegranate a day into your daily diet regimen to reap their many benefits.



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Nutritional Facts, Benefits, and 3 Super Healthy Recipes

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Corn is widely consumed across the world in numerous forms – boiled, corn on the cob, popcorn, and so on. Corn is not only easy to cook with and incredibly delicious but is also packed with nutrition. It is a highly fibrous food item that is also rich in proteins, carbohydrates, and essential micronutrients like potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, C, and folate. For a long time, corn was a cereal grain native to Central America. It has now become popular all across the world and is used as a staple food item in numerous countries. The golden goodness of corn helps you manage diabetes, hemorrhoids, anemia, blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and much more. 

Table of Contents

Nutritional Value of Corn

Every 145g of raw corn has the following nutritional value.

  • Carbohydrates – 27g
  • Fat – 2g
  • Protein – 5g
  • Calories – 125
  • Fiber – 3g
  • Sugars – 9 g
  • Potassium- 392 mg
  • Magnesium- 54 mg
  • Calcium- 2.9 mg
  • Vitamin C- 9.86 mg
  • Vitamin A- 271 IU

Corn is also rich in antioxidants, namely Ferulic acid, Anthocyanins, Lutein and Phytic acid. Though major sugar in corn is sucrose, it is low in glycemic index owing to high fiber content. However, the nutritional value varies among different corn-based fools like corn flour, tortillas, corn syrup due to different processing techniques. 

Health Benefits of Consuming Corn

1. Promotes eye health

Corn helps Improve eye health

Owing to the high quantity of vitamin A and antioxidants in corn, they are perfect for maintaining good eye health. They help enhance your vision and prevent macular degeneration, which eventually leads to medical problems such as cataracts, glaucoma and complete blindness.

2. Reduces risk of diabetes

Corn helps reduce risk of diabetes

The Anthocyanin component in corn is highly beneficial in maintaining insulin and glucose levels in your body. Moderate consumption of corn can help you reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes to a large extent by reducing insulin resistance and thus preventing blood sugar levels from going too high.

3. Helps maintain a healthy heart

corn helps maintain a healthy heart

Corn is rich in potassium and magnesium, which are well-known for maintaining blood pressure and a healthy heart. Potassium helps reduce blood pressure, while magnesium helps prevent strokes and heart attacks. Corn also has a lot of fiber, which is great for reducing bad cholesterol levels in your body.

4. Enables weight loss

Enables weight loss

Corn has high fiber content that makes it a considerable agent for weight loss. Owing to its insoluble fiber content, corn facilitates slow digestion. Similarly, with high protein content, it provides high satiety value while preventing over- eating. Moreover, with high amounts of antioxidants in corn, it helps in reducing inflammation and improving metabolism. This, in turn, helps in healthy weight loss.

5. Improves gut health

The high fiber content in corn promotes the growth of healthy bacteria, which, in turn, improves your gut health tremendously. Your bowel movements become increasingly regular, and it helps you feel light all day. These good bacteria are also crucial in reducing the risk or preventing colon cancer altogether.

6. Prevent skin damage

Corn is high in Vitamin C, which is an important element to prevent skin damage. High levels of Vitamin C help neutralize free radicals, thus preventing hyperpigmentation and fine lines. It helps fade facial acne scars to make your skin appear clearer. Vitamin C also helps in collagen synthesis that causes faster-wound healing, moist and healthier skin. 

7. Keeps energy levels high

Corn helps keep energy levels high

Since corn is high in carbohydrates (27g in every 145g of raw corn), they are an excellent food option to increase your energy levels. These carbohydrates are digested slowly, which allows you to keep getting energy for a longer period. You can now stay active and energized without feeling pangs of hunger regularly.

8. Reduces the risk of developing anemia

Nutrients like iron and vitamin C are essential for preventing anemia. Iron helps in the production of hemoglobin that enables red blood cells to carry oxygen more efficiently. Similarly, Vitamin C enhances iron absorption and red blood cell production. Corn is rich in both these components, which makes it beneficial in helping reduce the risk of anaemia.

9. Helps during pregnancy

Corn helps during pregnancy

Expecting mothers need high levels of iron and folic acid, both of which are richly present in corn. Folic acid is a crucial element required for neural cells, including brain tissues and the spinal cord. It is also important to prevent low birth weight, miscarriages, and premature labor. Folic acid protects the mother by reducing the risk of heart problems and high blood pressure during pregnancy. However, it is crucial to consume corn in moderation.

Healthy Ways to Consume Corn

While there are numerous healthy ways to consume corn, here are three easy-to-make recipes: 

#1 Corn and Pomogranate Chaat

Corn and pomogranate chaat

Prep time: 10 minutes
Serves: 1-2 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of boiled corn
  • 1 cup of peeled pomegranate seeds
  • ½ a lemon or lime
  • Chopped mint leaves
  • Chopped coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp tamarind extract
  • ½ tsp cumin powder

Directions:

  • Put the boiled corn, pomegranate seeds and chopped mint and coriander leaves in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Mix well.
  • Add a few drops of lime or lemon, tamarind extract, salt, and cumin powder.
  • Toss the mixture well. Your Corn and Pomegranate Chaat is ready to serve.

#2 Garden Fresh Corn Salad

Garden fresh corn salad

Prep time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2-3 people

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of boiled corn
  • 1 medium-sized tomato, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped cucumber
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil and/or parsley leaves, optional
  • 1 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium clove of garlic, minced
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Put the boiled corn, chopped tomatoes, cucumber, onions, mint, basil and parsley in a large bowl. 
  • Mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, mix virgin olive oil, minced garlic, salt and black pepper. Whisk them well for 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour this mixture over the salad in the large bowl. 
  • Toss the salad well so that the virgin olive oil dressing coats every ingredient properly.
  • Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator for later consumption.

#3 Creamy Corn Dip

Creamy corn dip

Prep time- 15 minutes
Serves – 2 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup corn kernels boiled and slightly mashed
  • 2 green chilies chopped
  • 1 Jalapeños chopped
  • 2 tbsp – finely crumbled cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup – Greek yogurt plain
  • 1 sprig Coriander leaves chopped
  • 1/2 Bell pepper small chopped
  • 1/2 Onion small chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp Black pepper

Directions

  • Add all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  • Mix well.
  • Adjust the seasoning as desired.
  • Serve with baked chips or veggie sticks.

Summary

Corn is a versatile food item that can be used both in independent corn dishes or as part of other recipes. They are light on your stomach and make for a healthy and filling snack, which helps you avoid eating junk food. Indulge in the goodness of corn and make your eyes, heart, gut, and skin amazingly healthy.



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7 Health Benefits of Summer Fruit Kokum: HealthifyMe Blog

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Kokum, a small cherry-like summer fruit, is red in color and deepens to purple when ripe. It is widely found in the Western Ghat region of India. This is one of the main reasons why they are mostly used in the cuisines of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and coastal states of Southern India. The fruit is sour with a faintly sweet aroma and is used as a spice. When added to food it imparts a purple-ish color. Some cuisines also use it as a preferred substitute for tamarind in curries and other dishes. Apart from being used for cooking and as medicine, they are widely used to make plush Kokum sherbet as well.  

Moreover, Kokum has numerous health benefits as it is rich in antioxidants, essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals required by the body. Kokum oil and butter are also extracted from its seeds and frequently used in making chocolates and sweets. It also finds itself in many beauty products of skin and hair.

Furthermore, in this post we will be looking at Kokum fruit’s nutritional facts, health benefits, and the best ways to consume kokum. 

Table of Contents

Nutritional Facts of Kokum

Kokum is a warehouse of a variety of essential nutrients, which helps keep your body healthy. 

100 grams of Kokum contains:

  • Calories: 60
  • Fiber: 1.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 14.3g
  • Fats: 0.1g
  • Protein: 0.5g

Apart from the above nutrients, the Kokum fruit also contains:

  • Acetic Acid – An essential nutrient for your body that regulates the blood sugar levels.
  • Ascorbic acid – Improves your immunity system and acts as an antioxidant agent for your body.
  • Manganese – Improves your bone health and can help with diseases like arthritis. It also regulates blood sugar levels and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. 
  • Hydroxycitric Acid – Naturally reduces your appetite, and prevents any cravings or hunger pangs. An amazing component for all your diet foods. 

Health Benefits of Kokum

#1 Remedy for Acidity

Kokum- remedy for acidity

Kokum is an age-old homemade fix for acidity. Dried Kokum consumed in a sherbet or juice form can help reduce acidity. Simply add sugar, salt, and chilled water to dried Kokum to make delicious kokum sherbet to relieve acidity.

#2 Improves Digestion

improves digestion

Kokum shields the helpful gut bacteria in the body, aiding digestion. It is anti-bacterial in nature and counteracts the harmful effects of certain bacteria that cause indigestion, dysentery, constipation, ulcers, bloating, nausea, and flatulence. Kokum is a natural remedy for all such gastric ailments.

#3 Anti-inflammatory

Kokum has tremendous anti-inflammatory powers. It can be directly applied to sores, rashes induced by allergies, and burns to soothe the inflamed skin. It also has anti-allergic properties. It stops histamine formation by effectively decreasing a body’s pH level.

#4 Rich in Antioxidant

Garcinol is a powerful antioxidant that is harvested from Kokum. It is known to be anti-cancer in nature and aids in cell regeneration. It scavenges free radicals and protects from carcinogenesis.

#5 Power-Packed with Nutrients

Power-Packed with Nutrients

Kokum contains several important nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin B3, vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc. It also provides the body much- needed dietary fiber that helps lower cholesterol, improves bowel health and assists in weight loss. It does this by keeping you feeling full for a longer time. This helps you avoid overeating and gaining weight. It is also great for pregnant women as it helps relieve nausea, vomiting, and cooling down the body. 

#6 Anti-aging properties

Anti aging properties

The antioxidants in Kokum impart its natural anti-aging properties. It helps in beautifying your hair and skin by repairing and regenerating cells. The ancient medicinal practice of Ayurveda uses Kokum extensively from relieving rheumatoid arthritis to healing cracked heels. Kokum butter can be mixed with soaps and creams to rejuvenate and refresh the skin by improving its elasticity. 

#7 Beat the Heat

Kokum is indigenous to many tropical regions where for centuries people have used this fruit to keep the heat at bay. Consuming it as a chilled sherbet or juice helps keep the body cool and refreshed. Summers can be exceptionally harsh in tropical areas. So, fruits like Kokum are a natural low-caloric way to keep your body hydrated and healthy.

Best Way to Consume Kokum

Kokum is very versatile. It can be consumed after drying or infusing with water or only eating it as a fruit. Just like tamarind, it can be used to give a tangy twist to anything. It is added to coconut flavored curries, fish curries, dals, chutneys, pickles, ladies finger/bhindi and potato dishes. Even kokum petals are used in cooking, and they impart a lovely sourness to any stew they are added to. Below are some Kokum inspired recipes rooted in the Indian cuisine.

Kokum Curry

Kokum curry

Prep Time:15 mins; Cooking Time:30 mins

Kokum curry is a traditional Goan recipe that is usually served with rice. It needs the following ingredients: –

  • 7 kokum fruits
  • 1 tablespoon ajwain
  • 7 dried red chilies
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoon salt
  • ½ cup coconut

Method:

  • Grind together ajwain, chilies, black pepper, and coconut together in a blender.
  • Add the smooth mixture in a pan.
  • Put in kokum fruit.
  • Let it simmer in the pan for half an hour. Keep stirring in between.
  • Serve hot with rice.

Kokum Kadhi

Kokum Kadhi

Prep Time:25 mins; Cooking Time:10 mins

Kokum kadhi is one of a kind because it does not use either curd or besan- both ingredients that are essential to a regular kadhi. This is a delicious Goan interpretation of the famous North Indian dish of kadhi. You will need the following things: –

  • 20 kokum fruits
  • 2 tablespoons green chilies
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons jeera
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1 cup coconut milk

Method:

  • Mix kokum, green chilies, salt and about 2 cups of water in a bowl.
  • Let the mixture soak for 15 mins.
  • Strain the mixture. Moving forward only the kokum water will be used in the recipe. The Kokum and green chilies can be disposed of.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a pan and add jeera.
  • Once jeera starts spluttering add curry leaves, red chilies, and garlic. Cook on a medium flame for about 5 mins.
  • Add the already prepared kokum water, coconut milk and salt to the pan. Mix everything and cook on a medium flame again for 5 mins.
  • Serve hot with boiled rice.

Kokum Dal

Kokum Dal

Prep Time: 10 mins; Cooking Time: 30 mins

This Marathi dish is a winsome combination of tur dal and Kokum. This traditional dal recipe is very healthy and easy to make. You will need the below- mentioned list of ingredients: – 

  • 2 cups tur dal
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 4 green chilies
  • 2 tablespoons goda masala
  • 2 tablespoons coconut
  • 2 tablespoons jaggery powder
  • 7 kokum fruits

Method:

  • Pressure cook the tur dal. Also, add some salt and turmeric powder in the cooker.
  • Let it whistle 4 times before taking it off the flame.
  • The dal must be mushy.
  • Prepare a separate pan. Heat some oil in it.
  • Add curry leaves, mustard seeds, green chilies, and turmeric powder. Stir well.
  • Sauté for a few minutes and then add the mashed tur dal in the pan.
  • Add goda masala, coconut, jaggery, and Kokum. 
  • Cook on a medium flame for 15 minutes.
  • Garnish with ghee and cilantro if desired.
  • Serve hot with rice.

Summary

This tangy fruit has been blessed with umpteen nutrients which can help keep your body healthy. This fruit can combat symptoms of aging, serve as a remedy for acidity, helps keep your body cooler, helps you lose weight, and improves digestion. This tangy delight is also celebrated in many regional Indian cuisines for its delicious taste and overwhelming health benefits. 



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10 Health Benefits of Muskmelon that you must know: HealthifyMe Blog

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We all are familiar with this delicious summer fruit but aren’t aware of its potential benefits. You would be happy to know that it is not only an incredibly refreshing evening snack of the summer but also a great nutritional source. Muskmelon, also referred to as ‘sweet melon,’ got its name from its strong musky smell. It is a yellow-colored fruit with tempting sweetness and a pleasant aroma. They are abundantly available in the summer season and have high water content, making them hydrating and cooling. 

From its flesh to skin, and seeds, all parts of muskmelon fruit have health benefits if applied or consumed the right way. The skin and seeds can be ground into a paste to make a facemask. It is a free beauty treatment that people are practicing for ages. Applying the paste to your skin can help reduce any signs of dryness, blemishes, acne, etc. 

Moreover, for pregnant women, muskmelon juice is highly recommended by doctors due to its high folate content that helps in preventing water retention by eradicating excess sodium from the body.    

Nutritional Benefits of Muskmelon 

The numerous health benefits of muskmelon can be attributed to its rich nutritional content that is necessary for healthy body functioning. 

100 grams of muskmelon contains:

  • Calories 34  
  • Dietary fiber  0.9 gram    
  • Fat 0.19 gram    
  • Protein 0.84 gram    
  • Carbohydrates 8.6 grams    

Health Benefits of Muskmelon 

Everybody loves the taste of cold, juicy muskmelon during the summers. While it is amazingly sweet and crunchy, it has various health benefits that everybody must know. The following are some of the proven health benefits of muskmelon that you should look into. 

#1 Muskmelon for the healthy digestive system  

Muskmelon for the healthy digestive system

Muskmelon has high fiber and water content, which makes it a great natural healer for people suffering from indigestion, constipation, and other digestive system issues. The fiber content in muskmelon helps in regulating proper bowel movements with a calming and cooling effect on the stomach. Fiber adds bulk to the stool and keeps hunger pangs at bay. Furthermore, the high content of vitamin C mineral in muskmelon help in treating stomach ulcers. 

#2 Muskmelon helps in regulating blood pressure 

Muskmelon helps in regulating blood pressure

People suffering from high blood pressure are recommended to add muskmelon to their diet as this potassium-rich fruit helps in relaxing the blood vessels, aiding smooth in-flow of blood. Potassium acts as a vasodilator that keeps your blood pressure in check and ensures that it doesn’t elevate. 

#3 Muskmelon promoted hair growth 

Muskmelon promoted hair growth

There are studies that have proved the potential benefits of muskmelon for hair growth. The vitamin A content in muskmelon could do wonders for your hair that no other product can. Vitamin A is known for stimulating the production of sebum, which is an oily secretion of the sebaceous glands that help in keeping your hair healthy. Moreover, directly applying muskmelon pulp to your scalp can help boost hair health, resulting in long, lustrous hair.       

#4 Muskmelon may support the vision and eye health 

Improves eye health

Muskmelon contains three potent antioxidants – beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein – that are well known for supporting eye health. Eating muskmelon regularly can help prevent the development of age-related vision loss and support proper eye function throughout your life. Research indicates that regularly consuming foods that are rich in these antioxidants along with vitamins A and C, such as muskmelon, may lead to healthy eye functioning with proper vision. Beta-carotene is what gives muskmelon its bright color. According to health experts, beta-carotene is responsible for proper eye functioning, aiding good eyesight, and age-related vision problems. So, you should introduce muskmelon in your diet for a healthy eye. 

#5 Muskmelon may boost immunity 

Immunity

Muskmelon is rich in vitamin C content, which is a powerful antioxidant that can help in boosting your immunity. Apart from having high vitamin C concentration, muskmelon also contains phytochemicals, beta-carotene, and vitamin A that help in keeping your gut healthy. Your gut health is directly associated with your immune system. The good bacteria in your gut help with the proper functioning of the body. Moreover, vitamin C helps in stimulating the production of protective white blood cells that help destroy numerous dangerous microorganisms, viruses, bacteria, and other toxins that could invade your body and spread diseases. 

#6 Muskmelon for beautiful-looking skin 

muskmelon-skin-health

One of the significant benefits of muskmelon is that it is great for your skin. For starters, the antioxidants in muskmelon help in removing any impurities from your skin. Muskmelon is also packed with skin-friendly collagen, which is a protein that helps in keeping the skin tissues soft and tight while preventing it from withering. Since muskmelon has vitamin C content in abundance, it helps in maintaining the natural glow of your skin. All these aspects make muskmelon a must-add food to your diet for healthy skin. The beauty of muskmelon is that no part of it goes to waste. While you can eat the flesh or make juice out of it, you can ground the seeds, pulp, and skin into a paste and apply it on your skin all over the body. It is one of the cost-effective and efficient ways to treat your skin.        

#7 Muskmelon may help combat stress 

Muskmelon may help combat stress

We live in a world where our lifestyles have become more hectic. Eating certain foods can have a stress-relieving impact on your mind, as well. Muskmelon, being rich in potassium, is considered a stress-relieving food that can help you feel more focused and relaxed. Potassium in muskmelon can help normalize the heartbeat and promote the supply of oxygen to the brain. This helps your brain to calm down and focus.

#8 Muskmelon for arthritis 

Muskmelon has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve pain associated with arthritis. Arthritis can cause inflammation in the joints of the knees and legs, which can be extremely painful. It makes doing daily activities like walking, standing, sitting, etc. more strenuous. People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are prescribed to include foods that are highly anti-inflammatory. Eating muskmelon can help prevent oxidative stress in your bones and joints, thereby reducing inflammation. Several studies indicate that including muskmelon in your daily diet could help in dealing with inflammation and bone-related issues like osteoporosis   

#9 Muskmelon cures toothache 

Muskmelon cures toothache

One of the surprising benefits of muskmelon is that it can help you cure toothache and other dental related issues. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine in 2016 emphasized the benefits of muskmelon for treating abnormal dental pain. According to experts, eating raw muskmelon or rinsing your mouth with a solution made of muskmelon skin can help in dealing with dental pain. Experts recommend making your own muskmelon mouthwash at home. Take a few peels of muskmelon skin, add water, and boil till cooked. Strain the mixture using a strainer and wait till it cools down. On cooling, rinse your mouth with the solution a couple of times a day. If you had made extra, store it in the refrigerator and use it within a day or two.    

#10 Muskmelon is beneficial for lungs 

Regular intake of muskmelon replenishes your body with vitamin A. Over time, the vitamin A content in your body depletes due to several factors, which include smoking, pollution, ingesting pollutants, consuming adulterated food items, etc. This all makes your lungs get weaker day by day. Vitamin A in your body helps in rejuvenating the lungs, allowing you to breathe fully and properly. This is especially beneficial for those who are passive smokers and kids suffering from breathing issues. The nutrients and minerals in muskmelon help in relieving you from congestion in the lungs. 

Healthy Ways to Consume Musk Melon

While people prefer eating muskmelon raw, right out from the refrigerator, there are some mouthwatering muskmelon recipes that can enhance your experience. In this section, we will tell you an easy muskmelon recipe, which is not only healthy, but you can also prepare it at home as well.

Muskmelon-Mint Slush

Muskmelon-Mint Slush

Ingredients: 

  • Muskmelon – 2 cups cut into small pieces 
  • Black salt – 1/4 teaspoon

Method: 

  • Create a smooth puree by blending muskmelon and mint with black salt into a blender or a liquidizer 
  • Now, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well 
  • Take a shallow container, and pour the mix in it. Freeze for 3-4 hours. Again, take the blender and liquidize the mixture till it turns slushy
  • Pour the slushy mixture into glasses, garnish it with mint leaves and serve chilled

Green Salad with muskmelon dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup lettuce leaves torn
  • 1 cucumber cut in cubes
  • 1 capsicum cut in cubes
  • 1 cup blanched broccoli florets

Dressing 

  • 1 cup chopped muskmelon
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp mint leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste. 

Method: 

  • Blend ingredients for the dressing. 
  • Combine all veggies in a bowl, pour the dressing and serve. 

Muskmelon banana smoothie

Muskmelon banana smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup muskmelon
  • 1 banana frozen
  • ½ cup curd
  • ½ cup water

Method:

  • Blend all the ingredients and serve chilled

Summary 

Muskmelons are healthy, delicious, and about to be in season! So make sure that you get your batch of fresh muskmelons for the whole family. It would be a blunder to miss out on the goodness of this mouthwatering fruit. Not only muskmelon boasts plenty of health benefits like aiding blood pressure, treating dental pain, managing stress, etc. but it is also a part of plenty of recipes that you can easily make at home. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Muskmelons 

The following are the common health-related FAQs about muskmelons that you should look into. 

Q. Does muskmelon increase weight? 

A. Muskmelons are rich in potassium that helps in maintaining the overall bodyweight. Moreover, the fat content in the fruit is also negligible, so it doesn’t increase weight.

Q. Can I eat muskmelon if I have diabetes?

A. Muskmelons are safe for people with diabetes. However, it is recommended to consume muskmelon alongside foods that contain plenty of protein, fiber, and healthful fats.

Q. What is the best time to eat muskmelon? 

A. It is recommended to consume muskmelon before 7 pm. Since muskmelon is slightly acidic, if consumed at night, it may hinder the process of digestion.

Q. Does muskmelon increase heat in the body?

A. Muskmelon is a perfect summer fruit. It is high in water content and can take care of the fluid loss that our body experiences during this season. It also prevents heat-related disorders during the summer.

Q. Is muskmelon good for skin?

A. Yes, muskmelons are a great addition to your diet for young-looking, refreshing skin. It contains all the essential vitamins A, B, and C that helps your skin in staying young, healthy, and supple.



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HEALTH

Nutritional Facts, Benefits, and 3 Healthy Recipes: HealthifyMe

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Celery has been cultivated and consumed as a vegetable since ancient times. It belongs to the Umbelliferae family which is known for its pleasingly fragrant plants like parsley and carrot. It is considered to be a cleansing agent and very nutritious. Celery is a highly versatile vegetable as almost all its parts can be eaten one way or another- be it the fibrous stalk, the green leaves or the seeds. Some relish it in its raw form and use it in their salads. Others like to incorporate it into their soups, stews, and roasts. 

The leaves of the celery function as a fresh seasoning for soups or stews and impart a slightly spicy taste akin to black pepper. It is also readily used in its dried form. It turns into a dry herb that again can be used in myriad dishes to enhance the flavor. Fish or meat with dry celery seasoning is a popular dish in several cuisines the world over. Even its seeds are highly useful. The oil is extracted from them, which is used extensively in perfumes. Ground celery seeds also provide celery salt that again is used for seasoning for its flavorsome and spicy taste. The ancient Indian medicinal practice of Ayurveda also utilizes these seeds for their healing properties.

Table of Contents

Nutritional Value of Celery

Celery is a highly nutritious vegetable that is mostly made up of water and dietary fiber. It is a low-calorie food that is incredibly rich in antioxidants. It is power-packed with a number of essential vitamins like vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, Folate, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Minerals like Calcium, Potassium, and Sodium are also heavily found in celeries. Below is a list of all the nutrients found in a 100g serving of celery:

  • Dietary Fiber – 1.6g
  • Fats – 0.1g
  • Protein – 0.8g
  • Carbohydrates – 3.5g

5 Health Benefits of Celery

As illustrated above, celery is packed with important vitamins and minerals making it one of the most beneficial vegetables in your kitchen. Below we detail out the specific health benefits you are set to gain by incorporating celery in your meals.

1. Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory

Celery is loaded with antioxidants that fight inflammation and cell damage known to cause early aging. It also regulates blood flow in the body and optimizes your blood pressure. Quercetin is a type of flavonoid present in celery that soothes inflammation. Preliminary research reports state the role of quercetin as an anti-cancer agent as well.

2. Storehouse of nutrients

Celery is a treasure trove of many essential nutrients your body needs daily for its ideal functioning. It contains vitamin A that is essential for stronger immunity, better eyes, healthier skin, and aging-related conditions. Celery is also vitamin K rich which enhances bone density and aids blood clotting. Optimal bone density can mean a lesser risk of suffering from fractures. If you have been prescribed blood thinners, then it is even more crucial for you to ensure that your vitamin K levels do not falter.
Celery is rich in folate. It helps cognitive development and performance. Lack of folate in the diet has been attributed to problems like memory loss and fatigue. It is also important for the development and health of fetuses.
Celery is a good source of potassium which aids in nurturing muscle mass and healthy heart functioning. It helps in managing your blood pressure to ensure no untoward fluctuations happen with it. Apart from that several other important vitamins and minerals, there are other nutrients also present like vitamin C, vitamin B, magnesium, and calcium.

3. Improves digestion

Celery aids healthy digestion

Celery is very high on dietary fiber which is directly responsible for gut and bowel health. Eating a diet rich in dietary fiber makes you fuller and makes you feel satiated for longer periods of time. This ensures that you do not frequently snack hence actively reducing your caloric intake. It also increases the size and smoothness of your stools, thus enhancing bowel health.

4. Helps with weight loss

celery aids healthy weight loss

For the most part, celery is simply water which means that a single stalk usually only contains about seven calories. Also, the fact that it contains a high amount of dietary fiber means that you feel full for a significant amount of time, reducing any unnecessary eating on your part. Both these facts help immensely in managing the calories you consume and aid in weight loss. 
Research has shown that chewing food plays an important role in assuaging hunger as much as the actual food. Chewing triggers the release of satiety hormones which make sure you feel full. 

5. Hydrating agent

Celery is largely composed of water, which also makes this a very refreshing snack that will keep you hydrated. Having enough hydration is essential for survival, and for the well-being of your body. Hydration also helps improve the quality of your skin and hair.

Celery Inspired Indian Recipes

The Indian cuisine records many different delicious ways of preparing this vegetable. You can reap all the amazing health benefits without compromising on taste whatsoever. The following recipes illustrate great ways to cook and consume celery.

Kerala’s Celery Kootu Curry

Kerala’s Celery Kootu Curry

This vegetarian dish is easy and quick to prepare. It goes very well with rice and rasam. You will need the following ingredients: –

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup celery
  • 1 ½ cups moong dal
  • 1 cup cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon urad dal
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon rasam powder
  • 2 tablespoons salt

Method:

  • Chop Celery and cucumber and keep aside.
  • Pressure cook the moong dal and set aside.
  • In a pan heat oil and fry mustard seeds along with urad dal.
  • Continue till mustard seeds start sputtering and urad dal turns golden brown.
  • Add curry leaves with chopped cucumber and Celery.
  • Put in salt, turmeric powder, and rasam powder.
  • Add in a cup of water and mix everything well.
  • Cover it and let it sit on medium flame for 10 mins.
  • Add in the cooked moong dal along with coconut milk.
  • Cover it again and let it simmer for 5 mins.
  • Serve it hot with boiled rice.

South Indian Celery Stir Fry

South Indian Celery Stir Fry

This lovely recipe uses celery in its entirety. It is a very healthy way of eating this vegetable. You will need to assemble the following list of items: –

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 4 dried red chilies
  • 1 tablespoon urad dal
  • 8 curry leaves
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 ½ cup celery
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup dried coconut
  • 2 tablespoon salt

Method:

  • Chop Celery and keep aside.
  • In a separate pan heat some oil and add mustard seeds.
  • Once the seeds start spluttering, add in red chilies, urad dal, and curry leaves. Sauté for 2 mins.
  • Add chopped onion, salt, and turmeric powder. Sauté again for 10 mins.
  • Add Celery, coconut, and water. Let it cook for 15 mins.
  • Serve hot with rice or sambar.

Celery Soup

Celery soup

This comfort food is both delicious and filling. Beautifully green in color and highly fragrant this soup is ideal as either a side dish or a main meal.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups celery
  • 2 tablespoons dill leaves
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup onion
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

Method:

  • In a pan heat some butter and add onions. Sauté on a medium flame for 2 mins
  • Add Celery and sauté again for 2 mins
  • Add water and let the whole mix simmer for 15 mins
  • Let it cool and then blend it to a smooth consistency
  • Put the blended mixture back in the pan. Heat it and add cornflour, milk, dill, salt, black pepper. Cook for 5 mins stirring continuously and serve hot.

Summary

Celery provides the body with a plethora of benefits. Antioxidant properties to fight off the display symptoms of aging; a variety of essential nutrients to maintain the general health of your body; improved metabolism and digestion; increased hydration for every organ within your body, and lastly, it helps in maintaining a healthy diet without compromising your taste buds. Therefore, try incorporating this health-enhancing vegetable, and you will notice visible changes in your body.



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