What is ojas? It is a Sanskrit term for our inner vitality, and our sense of immunity. It’s that glow of great health. Ojas grounds us and supports our mental, physical and spiritual growth. It protects us against high levels of stress and provides mental stability and peace.
There are foods that build ojas such as, milk, ghee, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits and foods that deplete ojas such as, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods and sugars.
By choosing ojas increasing foods like dates and almonds, you can create that sparkle in your eyes and radiant, glowing skin. Try this drink at night for vitality building and to promote revitalizing sleep.
Eastern View: In Ayurveda dates are considered a ‘superfood’ because they are nourishing and promote balance. They are an ojas building food which means they build vitality and immunity. They bring a sense of sweetness to your life, and contain phytochemicals and are a precursor to the hormone oxytocin (also called the cuddle hormone). They literally make you sweeter.
Often used for their rejuvenative properties, they improve the immune system and are considered a rasayana, which means they rejuvenate the body, thus their use in anyone who is immunocompromised.
One of the special uses for dates is in cases of infertility, their replenishing qualities also makes for a good tonic for low libido.
Nutmeg: Nutmeg is an almost overpoweringly aromatic spice, to be used very sparingly. Fresh-grated nutmeg has a more powerful flavor and aroma than ground nutmeg. Nutmeg pacifies Vata and Kapha and increases Pitta. It contributes the pungent, bitter and astringent tastes. It is a warming spice., and in ayurveda, it is used as a natural sleep aid. When we take it in warm milk, the milk becomes a carrier for the nutmeg to the central nervous system where it is calming and relaxing.
Western View: When it comes to the number of minerals, vitamins, and health-benefiting phytonutrients in dates, suffice it to say there are a lot of them. First and foremost, they’re easily digested, allowing your body to make full use of their goodness.
Dietary fiber in dates helps to move waste smoothly through your colon and helps prevent LDL (bad) cholesterol absorption by binding with substances containing cancer-causing chemicals. The iron content, a component of hemoglobin in red blood cells, determines the balance of oxygen in the blood. Potassium, an electrolyte, helps control your heart rate and blood pressure. B-vitamins contained in dates, such as the carotenes lutein and zeaxanthin, absorb into the retina to maintain optimal light-filtering functions and protect against macular degeneration.
They also contain vitamins A and K. Vitamin A protects the eyes, maintains healthy skin and mucous membranes, and even protects the lungs and mouth from developing cancer. Tannins, which are flavonoids as well as polyphenolic antioxidants, fight infection and inflammation and help prevent excessive bleeding (anti-hemorrhagic). Vitamin K is a blood coagulant that also helps metabolize your bones.
Copper, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin are also present in dates and provide their own unique preventive and healing functions.
Together, these cofactors help your body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Eating dates in moderation can contribute to many health benefits, such as protecting against damage to cells from free radicals, helping preventing a stroke, coronary heart disease and the development of colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers.
Nutmeg is a popular spice that has a long list of associated health benefits, including its ability to relieve pain, soothe indigestion, strengthen cognitive function, detoxify the body, boost skin health, alleviate oral conditions, reduce insomnia, increase immune system function, and prevent leukemia, and improve blood circulation.
When you grind nutmeg into a powder, it retains its fiber content, which can stimulate the digestive process by promoting peristaltic motion in the smooth muscles of the intestine. Also, it induces the secretion of various gastric and intestinal juices that ease the digestive process. Since fiber can bulk up the bowel movements, it reduces the frequency and discomfort of constipation and other intestinal issues.
For generations, nutmeg has been recommended as a home remedy for sleeplessness and insomnia. Nutmeg has a high content of magnesium, an essential mineral in the body that reduces nerve tension, and even stimulates the release of serotonin which creates a feeling of relaxation or sedation. This serotonin is changed to melatonin in the brain, which is a sleep inducer, relieving insomnia and restlessness at night. Nutmeg also has trace elements of narcotics, which have no dramatic effect unless taken in massive quantities. However, even the small amount can help you release various neurotransmitters than induce relaxation and sleep.
• 4 medjool dates
• 20 almonds
• 1 cup soaking water for dates
• 1 cup soaking water for almonds
• 1/2 teaspoon of each cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric and nutmeg
• 1 ½ cups of milk (can substitute rice milk or almond milk)
• ½ – 1 cup hot water
• 1/2 teaspoon ghee
In separate bowls, cover the dates and almonds with water and soak overnight.
In the morning, drain the almonds and peel them by pinching them and popping the nut out of the skin.
Warm the milk and ghee in a saucepan.
While the milk is heating, place the peeled almonds, the soaked dates, the spices and the soaking water from the dates in a blender. Once the milk is warm, add it to the blender and add hot water. Blend for 2-3 minutes or until smooth and frothy. Drink warm at the end of the day before bed for a really good nights sleep.
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