Say Open Sesame – to Discover the Miraculous Benefits of this Unbelievably Healthy Oil

ImageJust as Alibaba opened the door to unbelievable fortune in the Arabian Nights- with one simple phrase- “Open Sesame”, you too can benefit from the distinguishing richness of the sesame seed, which is a treasure of nutrients.

Revered in alternative medicine as a healing oil since the Babylonians, it aides cardiovascular health, detoxifies body, fights ageing and strengthens bones. Cold-pressed sesame oil is a treasure of healthy fats, antioxidants and natural resistance. Sesame oil comes in two varieties- toasted and un-toasted. When sesame seeds are dry roasted prior to oil extraction, the oil is richer in flavor and darker in color. The other kind is the light golden variety, which has a milder flavor but a higher smoke point.

Sesame is packed with Nutrients

Nature has blessed Sesame oil with 3 really powerful compounds that are found nowhere else, namely – Sesamol, Sesamin and Sesamolin. Moreover, it is rich in omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, and other essential vitamins and minerals. However, in order to enjoy the maximum benefits of this power-packed healthy oil, one should use cold pressed sesame oil over the processed, supermarket variety. Cold-pressed oils are produced by crushing/pressing oil seeds and fruits with heavy granite millstones or modern stainless steel presses. The process is done with low-level heat, to preserve the minerals, vitamins and essential fats in the oil.  This process gives lower yield than modern methods but the oil produced is healthy and natural.

  • The Vitamin E and Sesamol, a unique compound in sesame, have been found to have fantastic antioxidant properties
  • Sesamin & sesamolin are cholesterol-lowering agents and protect the liver from oxidative damage
  • Zinc strengthens bones
  • Recent studies recommend sesame oil to Diabetics over any other oil.
  • Copper soothes rheumatoid arthritis pain
  • Calcium prevents osteoporosis, migraine and colon cancer
  • Magnesium supports respiratory health.

Cardiovascular Benefits of Sesame Oil

  • The poly-unsaturated fats in organic sesame oil restrains  hypertension and blood pressure
  • Sesamin, lowers blood pressure, reduces the formation and absorption of cholesterol- and so helps maintain cardiac health.

Beauty Benefits of Sesame Oil

Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, acknowledges sesame oil as an important healing oil.

  • Sesame oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which nourish and detoxify damaged skin and hair.
  • Oil-pulling with sesame oil promotes oral hygiene and rids body of harmful toxins.
  • Massage with Sesame oil for youthful skin as it counterbalances free-radicals, a major cause of aging.
  • Apply sesame oil on sunburns, skin allergies, dandruff and eczema to benefit from it’s anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.

Cooking with Sesame Oil

Derived from Sesame seeds, this oil has a distinct aroma and flavor that is slightly sweet and nutty. The virgin, cold-pressed variety is strong in flavor, and is almost essential in oriental cooking. You can use Sesame oil for sauteing vegetables, chicken and sea-food. Not particularly suited for frying, but you can sprinkle it over dishes, and salads before serving to add a lovely flavor profile. Still, cold-pressed sesame oil holds on at a higher smoking point than most other organic oils. This is due to the stabilizing properties of sesamin and sesamol that are naturally present in it. These compounds prevent sesame oil from going stale even when stored in the the open.

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3 Great Detox Breakfast Smoothies to Kick Start Your Day

ImageThe food, drinks and air we consume every day, are all contaminated in one way or the other. While the body has an in-built detoxification system, it cannot handle the onslaught of chemicals that come with modern living. This chemical cocktail affects our metabolism, immunity and health. While we can’t stay in a bubble, we can kick-start the day with quick detoxifying methods, and some delicious detoxifying smoothies. Read about some easy to make breakfast smoothies that are fast to make and supply you with a great boost of essential nutrients to help you seize the day.

You will have to shop for good quality, fresh and preferable organic fruits  and prep them in advance. But once you start your mornings with these delicious and power-packed smoothies, you will find it worth the effort. These detox smoothies are a great breakfast choice for a healthy and energetic start to your day and  your metabolism. They are filling and packed with enough nutrients to last you through the humdrum office hours until lunch. The best part- they let you easily detoxify your system daily. The high-fiber content in the smoothies ensures excellent digestive health.

Banana, Honey and Ginger Breakfast SmoothieImage

Making Time: 5 Minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 Ripe banana
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 4 tbsp fat-free yogurt
  • Small lump of fresh ginger, peeled & grated
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 glassful of juice of oranges, unsweetened

 Method:

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend thoroughly. Pour in a glass and enjoy.

 Carrot, Mango, and Herb SmoothieImage

Making Time: 5 Minutes
Serves: 2
Ingredients

  • 2 cups of Mango (chopped or pulp)
  • 1 cup carrot juice, fresh
  • 1 cup of fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup of chopped mint or basil

Method:

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend thoroughly. Pour in a glass and enjoy.

Cucumber, Honeydew, and Mint Smoothie Image

Making Time: 5 Minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • ½ Cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups honeydew melon or musk melon, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup pear juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ mint leaves, chopped

Method:

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend thoroughly. Pour in a glass and enjoy

Home-made Energy Drinks for a Natural Power Boost

ImageWhile living life in the fast lane, our body often suffers from fatigue and grows weary, but that is no excuse to clock out for the rest of the day. Many of us turn to an Energy drink to help us boost our energy, and also to re-hydrate us during workouts or sports.

Most such energy or sports drinks available in the market contain similar ingredients that act as a temporary stimulant. An artificial stimulant is not real energy, and the boost they provide is short lived. Many experts also believe that these drinks have adverse physical and neurological effects.

 Most such drinks have the following ingredients:

  • Sugar – A common source of empty calories
  • Caffeine – Increases heart rate, insomnia and dehydration
  • Taurine – A nonessential amino acid to help focus and increase the blood flow to the heart. Long-term effects of Taurine remain unknown
  • Artificial Colors

As an alternative to such synthetic energy supplements, why not try making some natural and healthy energy drinks at home?

Honey is a proven alternative to energy drinks. It contains high-levels of fructose and glucose that enter the blood stream gradually. It provides a much longer lasting energy boost, as well as, essential amino acids required for post workout recovery. It is a great, natural fuel for sports and is packed with plentiful nutrients and health benefits.

Follow the easy recipes listed below, to make your own rehydrating and nourishing energy drinks:

DIY Refreshing Fruit Energy Drink

  • Mix 1/3 cup of Natural honey  with 1/3 cup of unsweetened grapefruit, pomegranate or cherry juice
  • Add 6 cups of water.
  • For workouts and outdoor activities, add a pinch of salt
  • Blend well and Refrigerate

DIY Antioxidant Herbal Tea Energy Drink  

  • Steep four bags of herbal/ green tea in two cups boiling water.
  •  Add five cups water and 1/3 cup honey
  • Stir well and store in the refrigerator till ready to use.

There you go- follow these simple recipes to make a bottle of these delicious energy drinks and hit the gym for a full power work out.

Honey – Sweet Remedy for Losing Weight

Losing weight is almost always a struggle and involves eating bland food, as well as, completely depriving the sweet tooth of any pleasure, whatsoever.

natural fitness

However, ancient knowledge coupled with latest findings suggests that losing weight can also be a sweet affair with honey. Contrary to common belief, research shows that the daily use of honey instead of sugar does not lead to weight gain. Packed with nutrients- it in fact makes you feel more energetic. This simple, Nectar of Gods, helps in weight loss, while also ridding the body of harmful toxins.

There are various ways of using this nature’s gold to lose weight, boost metabolism and get beautiful, glowing skin.  Listed under are some simple ways of using honey everyday:

Honey and Lemon-  Ayurveda recommends having honey and lemon for effective weight loss. Start your day with a warm glass of water with honey and lemon, on an empty stomach. This drink can be taken throughout the day before meals, ideally half an hour before food.  Digestive herbs like ginger can also be added for boosting flavor and nutrients.

Honey and Lemon in hot water is also a great detox drink, particularly beneficial for glowing, fresh skin.

Honey and Cinnamon- Unani Healing, the ancient tradition of Greek-Arabic medicine, suggests drinking a brew of cinnamon and honey first thing in the morning. This drink can be made by boiling cinnamon in half a cup of water and later adding honey before drinking.

Hibernation Diet- A revolutionary diet that suggests consuming a spoonful of natural honey before bedtime can lead to both- a sound sleep, as well as, weight loss. This easy to follow diet suggests that the nutrients in honey promote fat burning in the body while you sleep. The body burns fat during sleep as a natural self healing mechanism. This is often disrupted by low blood sugar as we sleep. Honey primarily concentrates on bettering the sleep metabolism of the body, by supporting the liver and adrenal function.

Substitute Sugar- Honey is rich in fructose and glucose, which supplies our body with energy to burn fats, while also boosting the metabolic activity in our body. But unlike the empty calories of sugar, corn syrup and other processes sweeteners, honey is nutritionally abundant with amino acids, vitamins and is a rich source of calcium.

Honey not only improves the taste of herbal teas and smoothies, but is also known to curb hunger.

Natural Energy Drink- Avoid expensive and toxic energy drinks. Instead, substitute them with natural honey-based energy drinks. Researchers at University of Memphis have found that honey is an effective energy drink pre and post exercise. Honey gives equal amount of energy as glucose, but with sustained energy and prompt recovery. Make your own energy drink, which is both natural and energizing during work outs and sports.