Black Raisins: The Magical Pellets of Nutrition
Hindus consider the month of Sawan or Shravan as an auspicious time, and pray to Lord Shiva to save and protect his followers from all dangers, just as he saved the world by swallowing poison during the Samudra Manthan, and to bless them with good health and fortune.
Many worshippers observe a fast for sixteen Mondays or Solah Somwar during this period and generally eat only one meal during the day which is eaten after sunset, called Eka Bhukta Bhojan. Abstinence is also a part of Shravan during which devotees stay away from alcohol, non-vegetarian food and foods that contain salt, garlic or onion. The philosophy behind fasting is to develop the quality of discipline and also to regenerate the circle of life, given that this season is the breeding season for aquatic animals for example. Another benefit of observing these fasts is to flush out all toxins accumulated over time.
Increasingly nutritional science today is also advocating fasting to give our digestive systems time to rest and recuperate, something that our ancient traditions knew all along ! However, fasting should not mean that you have to starve yourself in an unwholesome fashion. The intention is to learn self-control and detoxify the body but also remain healthy and energetic. Given our work schedules and busy lives, it is important that we figure out foods that will maintain optimum energy levels and give us the necessary vitamins and minerals that will keep us fit and vigorous.
Dry fruits for example are a great way to feel full faster, maintain energy levels and give our bodies much needed nutrients during this time. Many nutritionists recommend that during the days of fasting, we start our day with 5-6 black raisins or black kismis, that have been soaked overnight.
They are an extremely powerful source of organic antioxidants and other minerals like iron and potassium which have anti-ageing properties, reduce bad cholesterol, keep anaemia at bay, reduce blood pressure and prevent constipation. So many power packed benefits packed in these tiny pellets!
Many people find it difficult to balance their diets during Shravan and hence feel low and lacking in energy during the afternoon/office hours. Make small changes in your diet plans, find sources of getting these black raisins online and before you know it these magical little natural pills, will give you such a burst of vim and vigour that they will become part of your normal diet, in Shravan and the rest of the year too!
Author: Pratika Sinha Sharma