Sunday, November 17, 2013

What are the Benefits of Turmeric?

Turmeric has many Medicinal Properties

You may have the question, “what are the benefits of turmeric?”, if you want to use turmeric, or are already using it, in cooking.  Turmeric is a spice traditionally used in Indian cooking to give flavor and color to the food.  In fact, this spice has excellent value more for the outstanding health benefits it offers.

Quick Overview of the Turmeric Health Benefits

Prevention of blood clots:  Turmeric has the ability to prevent platelets from joining together.  This spice thus could be an answer to keep blood clots at bay.

Prevention or Cure of Arthritis: A research study found that turmeric significantly prevented joint inflammation and destruction.

Remedy for Ulcerative Colitis:  It is a digestive tract disorder.  The findings of a research work conclude that “Curcumin seems to be a promising and safe medication for maintaining remission in patients with quiescent UC (ulcerative colitis)...”

Strengthens the Immune System:  Turmeric may control or prevent diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, allergy and asthma.  The positive effects of curcumin on health may be partly because of its power “to modulate the immune system”.  Curcumin could be used as a medicine in the treatment of the disorders of the immune system.

Treatment for Common Ailments: Turmeric may help in the healing of simple wounds and closing of minor cuts.  This spice could also be a home remedy for health problems like sore throat, and cold.  Turmeric may help in flushing out worms in the stomach.

Cosmetic Aid:  Turmeric may enhance the glow of the skin and help maintain its health.

Turmeric in Indian Cuisines

Turmeric is used in the powder form in Indian dishes.  The powder is made from the roots of the turmeric plant.  From aloo sabzi to chitranna, ribbon pakoda to masala dosa curry, murukku to sev, turmeric powder is a key ingredient of not only these dishes, but also of a number of other Indian cuisines.

You may want to use turmeric roots while preparing a masala powder.  What is an advantage of using such roots?  These will produce home-made turmeric powder that is pure.

If you buy turmeric powder choose a reliable brand, because turmeric powder from unreliable sources may be adulterated.

The sweet preparations like obbattu, holige, bobbatlu, or puran poli also has turmeric powder as an ingredient.

Turmeric is usually added while preparing the seasoning for a food.  Or, this spice may be added while boiling food, such as when cooking, say dal.  Does frying or boiling turmeric destroy its curative properties?  A research result says that these cooking methods might not harm the health traits of turmeric.

An exceptional compound in turmeric that prevents or treats diseases is curcumin.  Its value is so high that the authors of a research study call it as the “Indian Solid Gold.”

Now that you have a few answers to the question, "what are the benefits of turmeric?" you may want to use this spice in cooking and take advantage of its medicinal properties.


Turmeric and its Principle Compound Curcumin are Effective in the Prevention and Treatment of Arthritis, Polyphenols in Human Health and Disease,

Curcumin: The Indian Solid Gold, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology,

Curcumin Maintenance Therapy for Ulcerative Colitis: Randomized, Multicenter, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology,

“Spicing Up” of the Immune System by Curcumin, Journal of Clinical Immunology,

Traditional Indian spices and their health significance, Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition,

Turmeric, University of Maryland Medical Center,

Efficacy and mechanism of action of turmeric supplements in the treatment of experimental arthritis, Arthritis and Rheumatism,

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ragi Health Benefits | How to Sprout Ragi

Click the image above to see a video on how to prevent diabetes

Ragi is Great for Health

Do you make dishes from ragi?  If you are not making then you should, if you wish to reap the many ragi health benefits.  The links to recipes of dishes made from ragi are given at the end of the post.  Ragi in English is finger millet.  It is also known as, among others, kelviragu, kooragu, marwa, nachani or mandika. Ragi is indeed a divine gift to this world.  The ragi health benefits should make you to include the food prepared from it in your everyday diet.

Here are just a few health benefits of ragi:

Excellent Source of Calcium: If you drink milk to benefit from the calcium it provides, or you do not drink milk at all, then you may want to switch to ragi as it rich in calcium.  It is necessary for bone health.

Milk, as a source of calcium, is a dairy product.  An excessive consumption of such product(s) may actually be counter-productive.  An article says that, “dairy products can be high in saturated fat as well as retinol (vitamin A), which at high levels can paradoxically weaken bones.1

Ragi is low in fats too.  Most of these, anyway, are unsaturated fats.  So, ragi may be an excellent, alternative source of calcium.  More intake of food made from ragi and moderate consumption of milk perhaps is the way to go.

Good Source of Fiber: Ragi has the highest fiber when compared to brown rice, wheat and maize.  The consumption of dietary fiber may lower the risk of many diseases, including diabetes and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).

A research study says that, “Cereal fiber intake was also associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.”

Easy to Digest: It is easy to digest food made from ragi and it may be ideal for persons of all age groups.  A typical food made from ragi is ragi mudde.  It should preferably be soft for old people and for those who sit and work for a long time, such as computer professionals, to aid digestion.

Contains Amino Acids: Ragi has many of these acids, including Methionine.  What role amino acids play? Among others, these help develop resistance to diseases, control body processes, and muscle maintenance.

Methionine, one of the amino acids, in ragi promotes healthy skin and hair.  It is said that ragi has 3% of this acid and is said that this percentage is outstanding for a cereal grain.

Helps Reduce Weight: Tryptophan, an amino acid, in ragi, prevents excess appetite.  Ragi, therefore, can help control the weight.

More Iron in Sprouted Form:  A research finding says that, “ Sprouting ragi increases the bioavailability of its iron to 88%, comparable only to mother’s milk (and 8 times higher than cow’s milk).”

How to Sprout Ragi?

Sprouted Ragi has more Iron

  • Wash and soak ragi in water for 8-10 hours.
  • Drain the water completely.
  • Wash and drain again.
  • Spread the ragi on a dry cloth to let it absorb any excess water for about 30 minutes.
  • Transfer to a utensil or container.
  • Cover with a net-type lid or a cloth.
  • Set aside the utensil / container for 1-2 days.  In this period, check if the ragi has sprouted.
Ragi Recipes

A number of dishes can be made from ragi flour.  Some of the ragi preparations are ragi mudde, ragi malt, ragi dosa, ragi roti, ragi soup, ragi halbhai, ragi snacks like kodubale and chakli and ragi idli.

Does the ragi health benefits encouraging you to try ragi dishes? Here are the links to a few of the ragi recipes:

Ragi Malt

Ragi Mudde

Soft Ragi Mudde

Ragi Halbhai

Ragi  Soup

Ragi Dosa

Ragi Idli


1Calcium and Milk,

A Role of Starch of Eleusin Coracana Gaertn (Ragi Satwa) in Management of Malnutrition, International Research Journal of Pharmacy,

Whole-grain and fiber intake and the incidence of type 2 diabetes, American Society for Clinical Nutrition,

Health benefits of dietary fiber,