Sri Om Care seniors enjoy a good colourful and nutritious juice


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By Neena Badhwar

Herbs and fruits are the elixir of life and glowing health. They not only cleanse the system inside but outside too when used as face masks they are perfect for the skin and its health.

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An herb is wholesome in every way a nature’s factory which can provide not only the active constituent it is known for but that nature has provided in it a combination of vitamins and minerals so that the active constituent can act synergistically and bring about changes as well as get rid of the disease or affliction one carries. We always look at the health outside but cleansing the inside is equally essential and depends on what we eat. Is it fresh, does it have the required vitamins, does our nutrition have the necessary minerals that are needed by the body for various biochemical reactions. A haemoglobin molecule carries on it iron molecules which not only make the blood red in colour iron carries on it the necessary oxygen to take it to each and every cell of the body.

We are so attracted to the colours of fruit and vegetables when we visit the markets but stick to only the dishes that we traditionally or habitually trained to make. At times Indian food can be overly rich, fried and oily which can destroy all the vitamins and minerals that the colourful vegetables and fruits carry.

I attend a senior group run by Sri Om Care Foundation in Pennant Hills. On the occasion of National Herb Week which coincided with Diwali week in October we decided to celebrate Herb Day on November 14 instead. With NHAA’s green and purple balloons decorated on the wall seniors members of the group came all dressed in green. It has been my effort slowly and steadily to educate seniors that they try to eat healthy and fresh nutritious food which can promote healthy ageing.

On the 14th of November the group was shown a demonstration of healthy juicing technique. A juice is not just an orange or an apple juice which is sold at the market fully laden with sugar so as to preserve it. A juice can have in it all sorts of vegetables, herbs, fruits with each and every item cleansing the systems inside. If celery is there the phytonutrients in it help fight inflammation, look after capillary health, liver and urinary system. Herbs such as Indian tulsi, brahmi are good for nervous system. And carrots high in Vitamin A look after the eye health, is anti-ageing and cancer preventative.

It was good to listen to senior members who know the benefits and use and eat food as nutrition rather than food to satisfy hunger. Otherwise they would not be in the age group that they have achieved. They come up with many age old tried and tested recipes and health advice on various ways they have used foods and spices as well as herbs which have been passed on in the families from one generation to the next.

The juice which was extracted from the juicer was thick with all the enzymes intact and was heartily drunk and appreciated by all. Any juice that you take out should have lots of greens in it. So we had used broccoli, kale, parsley, cabbage. All these are rich in antioxidants and help recover one from any oxidative damage that may be giving one a chronic problem. As one gets old, aches and pains are there, arthritis is a common complaint, nervous system is compromised, pins and needles, restless legs and many more health issues are there and not feeling hundred per cent since life can be a roller coaster ride of problems, issues, worries as well as getting old. As one ages, absorption is less because one slows down on all fronts.

All I can advocate is to keep the food simple, fresh, hopefully organic if one can afford and once a week a juice which is laden with essential vitamins, nutrition and also the roughage which can keep the digestive system clean and moving.

The idea is to keep all the parts of the system moving without any blockage or congestion anywhere. If liver is the seat to digest fats and help body get rid of the chemicals, it needs bile which is stored in gall bladder. If the bile is not released properly liver cannot do its job. So any congestion in the biliary area (that is liver, bile duct, bile and gall bladder) is bound to lead to conditions such as fatty liver or gall bladder stones.

Congestion of the lungs cannot help proper exchange of gases (carbon dioxide and oxygen) thus the blood is not purified the way it should or the way the body needs. We do not connect to our bodies and listen to it and feed it properly. That is why lifestyles can lead to issues or conditions that we all complain about.

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On other occasions the group has created colourful salads, fresh food that is relished by all.

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With all this one must not forget that yoga, walking, good sleep and less worries can help one age much better.

(Neerja Badhwar is qualified herbalist having completed Advance Diploma in Western Herbal Medicine at Nature Care College in St Leonards and is registered with NHAA Member number 155099)

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