Age-old traditions to boost immunity
The modern lifestyle mantra revolves around the concept of "Detox". Magazines and social media continuously feed us with umpteen choices and the newest trends in foods and beverages that promise us health.
But very often, we fall in the abyss of marketing, social media trends and forget our traditional Indian rituals, busy adopting imported concepts. How many times are we guilty as charged for ordering a Turmeric Latte and forgetting it is the same 'Haldi Milk' or 'Golden Milk', made in our kitchens with milk, haldi, kesar and nutmeg. Or simply forgetting our humble 'Kada mix', and opting for fancier Kombutcha, Matcha or Chamomile tea.
The latest to join the bandwagon of social media food fads is the "Dalgona Coffee", a South Korean import, which is basic whipped cream coffee, made with simple 3 ingredients- instant coffee, milk and sugar.
So, it's time to look homeward and rediscover our age old traditions to boost our immunity at such trying times.
"It wouldn't be wrong to say that India has a long history of utilising traditional and organic ingredients to cure many ailments. The contribution of Indian spices to health has been well chronicled since Vedic times. They are addressed as "healing foods" in many such texts," says Karan Shah, Director, Society Tea.
Indigenous ingredients such as ginger, asafoetida, cardamom, black pepper, clove, cinnamon, green tea extract, turmeric powder amongst others, - know to remove toxins from the body, working towards cleansing one's system.
"The ingredients used help to accelerate metabolism and build immunity. Refreshing and energising to taste, this tea contains ingredients like turmeric which is known to be beneficial for skin related problems, common cold, etc. Specially crafted for those always on-the-move; to restart a healthy lifestyle," Shah adds.
And why restrict to only tea concoctions? Some of the best kept secrets of our grandmothers is the good old pickle and chutney. Prepared by the sustainable method of fermentation of fruits and vegetables throughout the year, with seasonal and perennial variants, the pickles are a source of good bacteria to ensure our gut-health. A good gut-health in turn promises better digestion.
"Heritage pickle recipes that have been passed down over generations, come together to create the spicy Mango pickle, while the amazing combination of mango, jaggery and spices combine and form the Sweet and Spicy Mango pickle. To top it all, the freshest seasonal ingredients and fruits chopped finely and pickled in a traditional a blend of spices come together to create the Mixed Pickle, whilst tangy, plump lemons mixed with crisp, green chilies and select spices combine and form a Green Chili Lime Pickle, says Shah.
And who can miss the Dry Garlic Chutney, pride of Rajasthan made with best of spices combined in a mortar and pestle, while the choicest ingredients come together to concoct the sweet and sour Tamarind-Dates Chutney, or the traditional recipe of pink onions, tamarind, jaggery and select spices that make the timeless Onion Chutney?
So, while we sit at home during the quarantine, it is a great opportunity to explore health wisdom from our kitchens, and incorporate them to daily diets for a healthy lifestyle.