Curd And Its Health Benefits
Curd has been in use since times immemorial. It is a common practice in India to serve curd with meals. Curd consists of various vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, carbohydrates and nitrogen components. In South India curd rice is a popular dish and people even carry it during long journeys to give a cooling effect to the stomach, it has enzymes that keeps the body cool. In North India it is taken in the form of raita and lassi. Whatever form we may consume it has a number of health benefits. It is also efficiently used as a beauty product.
Curd as beauty product
■ Application of curd to the scalp once a week prevents formation of dandruff. Mixing curd with green gram powder boosts dandruff prevention and prevents hair loss.
■ Dried and powdered orange peel mixed with curd could be applied to the face and neck. This acts as a cleanser and cleans clogged pores, thus preventing formation of acne and pimples.
■ Mix two three drops of honey to a spoonful of curd and apply to face, wait for 10 minutes and wash off.
Some suggestions by Ayurveda
■ Curd should not be consumed at night.
■ Curd should not be boiled and heated.
■ Mix sugar or honey to curd while consuming.
■ Use curd which has been properly formed or coagulated.
Curd is prepared by fermentation of milk and it is considered to have more nutritional value than milk. If the food is very spicy, take little curd instead of water this will immediately give you relief. You can even add curd to the spicy food to reduce the spiciness. One can have curd or buttermilk with lunch. There are a number of dishes made of curd and most popular amongst them is curd rice (thiru sadam) and dahi vada.
Curd is good for heart: Curd is believed to increase the good cholesterol in the body and thereby lower blood pressure and improves triglyceride levels. Curd for heart disease also ensures a healthy supply of proteins, calcium and is also low in sodium. One should only go for low fat curd as high fat curd can have a negative impact.
Aids in digestion: Curd also aids in digestion. The lactobacillus bacteria in curd prevent the growth of illness causing bacteria inside the intestinal tract and promote beneficial bacteria needed for digestion. This friendly bacteria helps in the absorption of minerals and aids in the synthesis of vitamins of B group.
Helps immune system: The friendly bacteria lactobacillus in curd fights off fungus related infections and helps to maintain the immunity to fight diseases. Proper consumption of curd strengthens the body.
Stomach problems: Curd is the easiest and the cheapest way to cure many of the stomach problems. Consists of a number of living bio organisms, these cultures once ingested make their way into the gastrointestinal tract. The good bacteria joins with the other micro flora in the tract and does some very helpful things for your body such as break down the food and digest it. Maintain healthy level of bile salts in the digestive system. Reduces cholesterol, suppresses tumor growth, slows the growth of threatening pathogens etc.
Diarrhea: Curd is found to be effective in significantly reducing the duration of diarrhea. It has been a traditional practice to provide buttermilk to children suffering from diarrhea because curd absorbs water from the intestines and acts as a stool binder.
Osteoporosis: Curd is recommended for osteoporosis as it is a good source of nutrients like calcium, vitamin A and B, B2, B12 magnesium and potassium. It is because of these cultures, curd is advised to be a part of diet to prevent osteoporosis. It also strengthens our teeth and bones because of high content of calcium. It can stop nausea and vomiting tendencies. Curd is thirst quencher and also reduces the burning sensation when taken with sugar.
Researchers have found that good bacteria in curd called probiotics can potentially alter brain chemistry for the better.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna
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