When we think of superfoods we normally tend to think about exotic names like spirulina, marine algae, acai berries, goji berries etc. Little do we realize that India is a rich source of all kind of foods, spices, herbs, fruits, cereals and superfoods.
When it comes to summers most summer coolers come jam-packed with corn syrups, high fructose synthetic syrups, refined white sugar, loaded with preservatives and synthetic colors.
One of the best thirst quenchers with cooling properties and a multitude of health benefits is Kokum sharbat. Kokum is a berry like fruit native to Western Ghats and the coastal region of India, and it has a number of wonderful properties which are rare to find in a single fruit together which make it eligible to count it in the superfruit category.
Most of you will be thrilled to know its effectiveness in aiding weight loss. Recent research on Kokum benefits, acknowledges its potential as an appetite suppressant, the Hydroxyacetic acid (HCA) inhibits conversion of excessive carbohydrates into fat. HCA has been found to be a good anti-obesity agent as it suppresses lipogenesis and converts excess calories into glycogen thus bringing about weight loss.
Kokum has also been acknowledged as a powerful antioxidant, effective in prevention of cancers, cholesterol build up, aids liver function, treating stomach disorders, and it is full of Vitamin B complex.
Its cooling properties help in treating pitta dosha disorders, conditions of peptic ulcers, gastric troubles, flatulence, piles, dysentery, acid reflux; reduction of fevers and allergic reactions, heat in the body and on skin. It is also known as a protector of brain and is found to be effective in treating arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
Kokum butter is used world over in skin creams, lotions and body butters for its effectiveness in hydrating the skin and preventing it from drying up and cracking.
Kokum can be used in a variety of ways to reap its health benefits. The dried rind can be added to dals and coconut curries to give a tangy flavor.
Kokum sharbat of course is a very popular drink in the coastal region of India.
Pulp obtained after soaking Kokum is added to coconut milk and tempered with curry leaves, asafoetida, black salt and cumin powder to make another cooling drink and is also widely eaten with rice in Konkan areas.
Tamarind can be replaced with Kokum to make the popular Imli chutney to reap the benefits of Kokum in an easy way.
So this summer try Kokum to aid health, beauty and make maximum use of this local treasure.