Another new year a few days back, and now another festival of Lohri is around the corner after one full year…And we at LiveLifeMore® keep trying to share the 'Wisdom of Wellness' that 'adds years to your life & adds life to your years'. Let us share with you today the health benefits of Lohri’s special delicacies… i.e., Moongfali, Gachak, Rewari, Popcorns etc. 

 1. Sesame Seeds: These little seeds present in Rewari are loaded with essential minerals such as manganese, copper, iron, phosphorus, and calcium. The zinc in sesame seeds promotes bone health and prevents osteoporosis later in life. Among all the nuts and seeds commonly eaten across the world, sesame seeds have been found to contain the highest amount of phytosterols, which are known to lower bad cholesterol. Sesame seeds increase your levels of Vitamin E, which plays a vital role in fighting disease. Studies show that sesame seeds can improve the effectiveness of certain diabetes medication. Sesame seed oil is known to reduce hypertension and ease stress. The antioxidants in sesame seeds fight free radicals, thereby promoting youthfulness and strengthening the immune system. A substance in sesame seeds has found to inhibit the spread of many Cancers.

2. Groundnuts or Peanuts (Moongfali): Peanuts contain a good amount of folate. Women who had a daily intake of 400 micrograms of folic acid before and during early pregnancy reduced their risk of having a baby born with a serious neural tube defect by up to 70%. One-fourth cup of peanuts can supply the body with 35% of the DV of manganese, a mineral which plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation. It may come as a surprise that peanuts can help prevent gallstones. But 20 years of studies have shown that eating 1 ounce of nuts, peanuts or peanut butter a week lowers the risk of developing gallstones by 25%. Peanuts are good sources of tryptophan, an essential amino acid which is important for the production of serotonin, one of the key brain chemicals involved in mood regulation. When depression occurs, a decreased amount of serotonin may be released from the nerve cells in the brain. Tryptophan may raise serotonin’s antidepressant effects when there is an increased amount of serotonin in the blood. Do you know what can be found in peanuts that gave them the “brain food” tag? This is due to their vitamin B3 or niacin content whose many health benefits include normal brain functioning and boosting memory power. The same nutrient which gives peanuts their memory enhancing power also helps lower and control cholesterol levels. Added to that is their copper contents which aids in reducing bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol levels. It is proven that regular nuts consumption is linked to reduced risk of heart disease. Peanuts are rich in heart-friendly monounsaturated fats and antioxidants such as oleic acid. Reach for a handful of peanuts and other nuts at least four times a week to reduce your risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease. Those who have an intake of the most niacin-rich foods like peanuts were 70% less likely to have developed Alzheimer’s disease. A quarter cup a day of peanuts can already supply almost a quarter of the daily needed value for niacin. A form of phytosterols called beta-sitosterol (SIT) is found in high concentrations in some plant oils, seeds, and legumes including peanuts. Phytosterols not only protects against cardiovascular disease by interfering with the absorption of cholesterol, they also protect against cancer by inhibiting tumor growth. Surprise!!! Eating nuts regularly is associated with a lowered risk of weight gain. Research has shown that people who eat nuts at least twice weekly are much less likely to gain weight than those who almost never eat them.

3. Jaggery or GUR (Present in Gachak): Jaggery is a great remedy for anemia, asthma, joint pains and menstrual pains. It also aids in digestion, purifies blood and keeps the skin away from problems such as acnes and pimples. It is a great energy booster as it provides us lots of energy. If you feel drained at any point of the day, a piece of jaggery with water can do wonders for you. Jaggery is a wonderful sweet that not only tastes delicious but also purifies the blood. It acts as a cleansing agent for our blood and purifies it. You simply have to add it to your diet and have its benefits. It also helps get rid of digestion problems. If you eat a piece of jaggery every day with water or milk, your body will be free from all toxins. Jaggery is a rich source of iron and if women add it to their daily diet, it helps them get rid of anemia. It is a must eat for all women, especially teenagers and pregnant women. Jaggery is great for your skin also. It makes your skin healthy and charming. If you have acne and pimples on your skin, eat jaggery every day. You will definitely see them going away and get a lovely and flawless skin. It is an age-old remedy to cure dry cough and cold. If you don’t like eating Jaggery in its raw form, you can try jaggery laddoos, which are made with sesame seeds and jaggery. They are very good in taste. Jaggery is, often, recommended to Asthma patients as it is a great remedy to cure asthma. It has such properties which regulate body temperature which is very good for Asthma patients. It also has anti-allergy properties.

4. Popcorn: Popcorn is kind of a big deal. Not just because it’s delicious, but it’s recently been found to actually be good for you. Really. A serving of popcorn contains more antioxidants than a day’s worth of fruits and vegetables. But that’s not to say that all popcorn is terrific for you, we’re talking plain popcorn here. A cup of plain pop only contains around 31 calories (compared to a cup of regular potato chips which holds around 139 calories…not exactly great). Popcorn also contains fiber and is the only snack that’s 100% whole grain. And whole grains are really good for you because they contain those antioxidants. In popcorn’s case, the antioxidants are found in the hull (the seedy part that gets stuck in your teeth) and are called polyphenols. Like all antioxidants, polyphenols help protect against cancers, heart diseases, and other illnesses that are caused by free radicals (cells that attack other healthy ones). Whole grains are also high in dietary fiber, rich in complex carbohydrates, and are low in fat, making popcorn a way better snack than anyone originally thought. And just because you’re not crazy about plain pop doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy its healthy benefits. Add on herbs like dill or curry, healthy oils such as olive or coconut, or sprinkle on some spices.

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