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  • Puffed Rice Snacks: Delicious Healthy Food That Gives Refreshment And Nourishment

    Puffed rice is one of the popular low calorie healthy food snacks in most traditional cuisines of Southeast Asia, East Asia, and South Asia. Its a refreshment staple food made from rice commonly eaten as loose grains or made into puffed rice cakes. They are white in colour, light in weight, crisp in texture and gives nourishment. In India, puffed rice is known as muri. Other regional names includes parmal, puri, mudhi, murmura, murmuri, borugulu in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and pori in Tamil Nadu. Puffed rice is a delicious refreshment snack in India when mixed with different chutneys, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, sev, and papdi such as bhel puri. In the United States and Europe, puffed rice is served with milk as a breakfast cereal and puffed rice cakes are sold as low-calorie snacks. In Bangladesh, mostly used to make Jhalmuri which is the most common and cheapest snack there. In Thai cuisine, a traditional popped rice snack is associated with the Buddhist Saat festival which is celebrated in autumn. It is mixed with caramelized palm sugar, coconut milk, peanuts, sesame seeds, and khao mao (pounded green rice). Korea also has a tea beverage made with puffed rice made with green tea and roasted puffed brown rice. Puffed rice is also offered to Hindu gods and goddesses in all poojas in the southern Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Pilgrims of Sabarimala often pack puffed rice in their Irumudikettu along with jaggery meant to be offered to Lord Ayyappan. Tamil saints say that Lord Ganesh loves pori, so it should be offered to him without fail. Pori has been mentioned in various Tamil literatures as an offering to Hindu deities. Rice: Role In Different Traditions | Forbidden To Eat On Ekadashi | Not A Good Night Meal TYPES OF PUFFED GRAIN Puffed rice refers to pre-gelatinized rice grains (either by being parboiled, boiled, or soaked) that are puffed by the rapid expansion of steam upon cooking. Puffed rice retains the shape of the rice grain, but is much larger. Popped rice, on the other hand, refers to rice grains where the hull or the bran is intact. When cooked, the kernel explodes through the hard outer covering due to heating. Popped rice has an irregular shape similar to popcorn. There are various methods, both modern and traditional, for making puffed and popped rice. HEALTHCARE Enriched with calcium, iron, vitamin D, thiamine, riboflavine and fibre, puffed rice ensures proper bone cell growth, regeneration, which in turn helps in bestowing a positive structural development of the body. Packed with fibre, puffed rice is pivotal for treating constipation. Renowned as a potent digestive stimulant, this desi snacking option helps in breaking down of food particles in the stomach and intestine, promotes the secretion of the digestive juices and thereby increases the absorption of essential nutrients through the intestines. Tabouli | Taboula: Fresh Tasty Vegetarian Healthy Food The high carbohydrate content in puffed rice acts as fuel for the brain by converting it into glucose. The array of antioxidants, minerals and nutrients are present in puffed rice due to which its an incredible option for improving the immune system, fighting microbes and shielding the body against various infections. Puffed rice having low sodium content, actively helps in normalising the blood pressure levels and keeps it under check. Being light and low on calories, puffed rice is an ideal option for people on a weight loss regimen. But loaded with carbohydrates, overeating puffed rice can also cause obesity. Information Source Links 1, 2, 3 Image Source: Google Images

  • Sacred Lotus: Most Beautiful Flower That Has Historical, Cultural, Spiritual & Health Significance

    Lotus flower meaning scared, blooms in the dirtiest of waters and swamps but however, it is one of the most beautiful flowers you would ever see. The lotus flowers open their petals with the rays of sunlight and again close their petals at sunset. The spiritual meaning of the flower is rebirth and resurrection. Lotus flowers bring a sense of positivity and calmness into the atmosphere. In eastern cultures, it is held as a symbol of purity, enlightenment, rebirth and healing. It teaches us about beauty and non attachment. GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE Given its deep symbolic meanings and connection to religion, the lotus flower is considered one of the most sacred plants and also holds a special role in human health. Because of its richness in nutrients and bioactive substances, the Chinese Ministry of Health approved the use of N. nucifera as both "food and medicine". Sacred Lotus, also known as Nelumbo nucifera , is one of two extant species of aquatic plant in the family Nelumbonaceae. The lotus is a bowl-shaped perennial and is often confused with water lilies. There are over 100 species of lotus. Also it is the national flower of India and Vietnam. Lotus has a very long history (c. 3,000 years) of being cultivated for its edible seeds, and it is commonly cultivated in water gardens. Under favorable circumstances, the seeds of this aquatic perennial may remain viable for many years, with the oldest recorded lotus germination being from seeds 1,300 years old recovered from a dry lakebed in northeastern China. Therefore, the Chinese regard the plant as a symbol of longevity. About 70% of lotus for the human consumption is produced in China. Peony Flowers: Symbol of Love, Happiness, Wealth, Romance, And Beauty The lotus is available in various colors such as white, pink, and the rare blue. The blue lotus only grows in the Himalayas. Some cultivated varieties have extraordinary numbers of petals. For example, the Chinese variety Qian Ban Lean can have between 3000 and 4000 petals in a single blossom and the Japanese variety Ohmi Myoren can have between 2000 and 5000 petals, the greatest number recorded for any species of plant. Bingdi lotus or Bingtou lotus, is a species of lotus native to China that carries a pair of flowers on each flower stalk, whereas there is only a single flower on most other species of lotus. Bingdi lotus belongs to a special type named Qianban lotus and is a treasure among flowers because it has all the essential parts of both the leaves and lotus. In Chinese tradition, Bingdi lotuses are considered both auspicious and joyous and as an embodiment of kindness and beauty. HEALTH SIGNIFICANCE Lotus rhizomes have a crunchy texture with sweet-tangy flavours and are a classic dish at many banquets, where they are deep-fried, stir-fried, or stuffed with meats or preserved fruits. Rhizomes is a continuously growing horizontal underground stem which puts out lateral shoots and adventitious roots at intervals. They are consumed as a vegetable in Asian countries, extensively in China, Japan, and India, sold whole or in cut pieces, fresh, frozen, or canned. They are fried or cooked mostly in soups, soaked in syrup or pickled in vinegar (with sugar, chili and garlic). Salads with prawns, sesame oil or coriander leaves are also popular. Fresh lotus root slices are limited by a fast browning rate. Lotus root tea is consumed in Korea. Lotus root is a popular vegetable in Sri Lanka, where it is often cooked in coconut milk gravy. In India, lotus root (also known as kamal kakdi) is cooked as a dry curry or sabzi. Lotus root is a moderate calorie root vegetable (100 g of root-stem provides about 74 calories) and is composed of several vitamins, minerals, and nutrients: 83.80% water, 0.11% fat, 1.56% reducing sugar, 0.41% sucrose, 2.70% crude protein, 9.25% starch, 0.80% fiber, 0.10% ash and 0.06% calcium. 100 g of root provides 44 mg of vitamin C or 73% of daily recommended values (RDA). Fresh lotus seeds are nutritious but also vulnerable to microbial contamination, especially fungal infections. Therefore, mostly dry lotus seed-based products are found on the market. Traditional Eastern medicine claims that fresh lotus seed wine has thirst-quenching, spleen-healing and anti-diarrheal advantages after drinking, attributed to unspecified bioactive compounds. Lotus seed tea is consumed in Korea, and lotus embryo tea is consumed in China and Vietnam. Makhanas 'The Powerhouse of Nutrition' Popularly Known As Lotus Seeds Not only do these seeds contain proteins of high quality and are rich in variety of essential amino acids including high contents of albumin (42%) and globulin (27%), they also contain unsaturated fatty acids, carbohydrates, vitamins, calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus and other trace elements. They also provide water-soluble polysaccharides, alkaloids, flavonoids, superoxide dismutase and other bioactive components. Lotus seed also contain particularly large amounts of vitamins, including VB1, VB2, VB6 and Vitamin E. The functional components (polyphenols, protein, polysaccharides) in lotus seeds can help combatting high blood pressure, diabetes and gallstones. Lotus seed's water-soluble polysaccharides have also been shown to promote lymphocyte transformation and enhance the immune function. Lotus leaf is used as a wrap for steaming rice and sticky rice and other steamed dishes in Southeast Asian cuisine, fried rice wrapped in lotus leaf in Thai cuisine. Vietnamese also use lotus leaves to wrap green young rice, which is eaten in autumn. The leaves impart a unique scent to the soft moist rice. Traditionally rhizomes, leaves, and seeds have been used as folk medicines, Ayurveda, Chinese traditional medicine, and oriental medicine. The lotus flowers are ground to make a paste, which is then applied to the skin. This paste will moisturize the skin, making your skin have a youthful appearance. Also used for lowering blood sugar levels, diarrhea, cholera, fever, and hyperdipsia. Lotus leaves are used for hematemesis, epistaxis, and hematuria. Rhizomes are promoted have purported diuretic, antidiabetic, and anti-inflammatory properties. In Chinese medicine, seeds are still used as Lian Zi Xin. CULTURAL AND SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE Nelumbo nucifera is the species of lotus that also has historical cultural and spiritual significance. It is a sacred flower in both Hinduism and Buddhism, representing the path to spiritual awakening and enlightenment. In Christianity the lotus flower is often associated with the apostle Thomas and his coming to India. It was also an important symbol in ancient Egypt, where it represented the path from death to rebirth to the afterlife. The lotus flower is used for the worship of many Hindu gods and goddesses. The rare blue lotus is used to worship the Hindu God Shiva. The lotus has also been held by Gautam Buddha who attained enlightenment and achieved the state of gods. Gautam Buddha is also portrayed sitting on a lotus because it is believed that he will have a rebirth. A unique fabric called lotus silk, from the lotus plant fibers, is produced only at Inle lake, Myanmar and in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This thread is used for weaving special robes for Buddha images called kya thingan (lotus robe). The lotus flower is used as an analogy for how to live life, as explained by Bhai Gurdas Ji, an influential Sikh figure and writer. These writings are referred to as keys to understanding Gurbani and grasping the basics of Sikhism. Accordingly, just as the lotus remains unsullied in the water, you must stay unaffected by the evils of the world. Another important point is the idea that as the lotus loves the sun and blooms for it, so will the person who, through loving devotion, know the Lord. Those are just two of the many references he makes to the lotus flower throughout his teachings. It is mentioned an estimated 420 times as representing the human soul. If you practice yoga or meditation, the Lotus Pose popularly called Padmasana is one of the most fundamental and oft-assumed positions for deep breathing. Here, the body is seated with the ankles crossed while the soles of the feet face the sky. The back is straight and the arms rest peacefully on the knees. The Lotus Pose allows one to achieve the highest concentration possible for meditation. This hip-opener is also said to awaken dormant cosmic energy known as kundalini. How Beautiful Lavender Flower Is Important In Our Daily Lives The petals of the lotus flower are arranged in layers, and when the flower blooms, each layer opens to reveal the ones inside. This has also been used as a metaphor to describe how we attain higher levels of self-realisation, which lead to the concept of the lotus as the seven chakras. When each chakra becomes activated, each lotus petal of the chakra can be thought of as opening and “blooming” along with a person’s energy. Information Source Links 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 Image Source: google images

  • Wood Apple: Less Known Fruit That Helps Stimulate Digestion And Cleanse The Liver

    The wood apple is a strange looking kind of fruit, and is a little less known worldwide. Besides wood apple, it may be called monkey fruit, curd fruit, kath bel and other dialectal names. In some parts of the world, this fruit is called elephant apple because it is a favorite food of elephants. In Ayurvedic medicine, Wood apples are cooling, purifying fruits, believed to help stimulate digestion and cleanse the liver and kidneys. Wood apple is Limonia acidissima, the only species within the monotypicgenus Limonia. It is native to India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka for their unique flavor and purifying properties. The species has also been introduced to Indochina and Malesia. Another species of this fruits Aegle marmelos (bhel fruits) are considered auspicious to be offered to Lord Shiva and Ganesha in rituals. The hard exterior is why these both fruits has been called a wood apple. However, they look similar but both can have different textures, fragrances, and tastes. Why Bel Leaves And Fruit Plays A Main Role In Lord Shiva's Worship ? Wood apple has a very hard rind which can be difficult to crack open, and thus must be cracked with a hammer. It appears greenish-brown in colour from outside and contains sticky brown pulp and small white seeds. Wood apple pulp has a sour, funky taste that is delicious with a touch of sugar in desserts, or alternatively, with warm spices for savoury dishes. Whereas Bael fruit is a round or oval fruit that may have a thin, hard, woody shell or a gray-green rind that turns more yellow when ripe. Grapefruit: Forbidden Fruit With Some Powerful Health Benefits The scooped-out pulp, though sticky, is eaten raw with or without sugar, or is blended with coconut milk and palm-sugar sirup and drunk as a beverage, or frozen as an ice cream. Ripe fruit can be used as pickle (mashed with green chili pepper, sugar and salt only). It is also used in chutneys and for making jelly and jam. The jelly is purple and much like that made from black currants. Wood apple contains considerable amount of protein, carbohydrate, iron, fat, calcium, Vit-B & C etc. 100 g of ripe fruit pulp contains up to 49 KCal. The fruit is considered highly effective against sunstroke and other health issues related to the summer season. In Sri Lanka, locals make wood apple juice by adding sugar and coconut milk to the strained pulp. The resulting juice is tart, sweet and creamy, and is a refreshing street food option that's popular in the summertime. Drinking Water Than Necessary While Exercising, Putting People At Risk of Water Intoxication The fruit is much used in India as a liver and cardiac tonic, and, when unripe, as an astringent means of halting diarrhea and dysentery and effective treatment for hiccough, sore throat and diseases of the gums. The pulp is poulticed onto bites and stings of venomous insects, as is the powdered rind. Wood apples are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body to help improve skin complexion and protect against vision loss. Information Source Links 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Image Source: Google Images

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  • Travel, Health & Lifestyle | Urmitika Knowledge

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