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09 Dec 2023, Edition - 3070, Saturday

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Health Matters

Celebrity Nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar Suggests The Best Spices To Add To Your Chai This Monsoon



Indian celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar is known for her fierce advocacy of Indian ingredients and hyper-local recipes, as well as advice passed on from our grandmothers’ times. Rujuta often posts home remedies for common seasonal and other ailments and answers frequently asked diet questions on her social media pages. Her Instagram page has a huge following and lately she has taken to posting simple diet tips useful for the summer season. Now, that the monsoon has hit several parts of the Indian subcontinent, viral infections are running rampant and people are looking towards foods, spiced and herbs that boost immunity and provide protection against infections. Rujuta recently posted some tips to shield your body from infections during the monsoon season.

Who doesn’t like the prospect of sitting on the balcony looking out onto the rain-swept landscape and sipping on some piping hot chai, accompanied with crispy hot pakoras. According to Rujuta Diwekar, your rainy-day cup of tea can be made more nutritious and healing, by adding some easily available herbs and spices to it. Her post titled, ‘Chai in monsoon – 3 special tips’ said, “The rains are here and so is the desire to sit by the window, sipping a hot cup of chai. It surely calms your mind, but here are 3 easy tips to make it work for your body too. Add ginger and tulsi – for digestion and immunity; add lemon grass – to prevent bloating and congestion; and add black pepper or cinnamon – to improve insulin sensitivity.”

Ginger is a common feature in all of our masala chai recipes, as it adds a lovely flavour to the tea and aids digestion. Ginger is also anti-bacterial in nature and hence, may help boost your immunity as well. Tulsiis nature’s answer to the flu-season. The holy basil leaves are often also added to drinks during the rainy season because of their ability to boost the immune system and combat flu and cold. Lemon grass is another healing ingredient you can easily add to your hot cup of chai. It has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, which fight cold, cough and flu.

Lastly, Rujuta Diwekar says that adding black pepper and cinnamon may help combat insulin resistance – a condition wherein the blood has excessive amounts of glucose and insulin hormone, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Both cinnamon and turmeric, when used in combination with black pepper may help regulate blood glucose levels. These spices are readily available Indian kitchens and can be added to your evening cup of tea, to reap their benefits. So, now you know! Although one doesn’t need an excuse to indulge in a cup of flavourful masala chai, Rujuta has given you three more to enjoy your caffeine fix in a more nutritious way!

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