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Toxins are everywhere. In the air we breathe, inside our body, in the food we eat, in the cosmetics we use, in the waste we dump, EVERYWHERE!
These toxins are usually flushed out by our body's processes of elimination and neutralization by the kidneys, liver, blood, lungs, etc. Sometimes, these eliminatory mechanisms don't flush out all the toxins that have accumulated in our body through the years. It's next to impossible to live in a world without toxins. You'd have to live in a properly or hermitically sealed suit for the rest of your life if you want to.
What Is Detoxification?
Detox, short for detoxification, is the process in which specific or a group of toxins are eliminated from a living being's system. It can also be defined as a period in which the body comes to homeostasis after a phase of addiction to a substance.
The three most basic types of detoxifications are:
1. Alcohol Detoxification - This is done to eliminate a heavy drinker's system of any alcohol traces before other treatments are taken up to treat alcoholism.
2. Drug Detoxification - This is done to reduce the withdrawal symptoms of an addicted individual for further treatments to stop drug abuse.
3. Metabolic or Xenobiotic Detoxification - This is the detoxification process carried out within the body to eliminate the toxins that have been consumed or the toxins that have been produced by various metabolic processes in the body.
The type of detox we are concentrating on is the Xenobiotic Detox. Human body has the natural ability to detoxify itself. Most of the major organs have their own mechanisms to eliminate these wastes from the body.
The excretory system being the obvious one helps eliminate urine and faeces on a daily basis. Imagine if this system didn't function properly for a day or two? Doesn't it get you uncomfortable just thinking about having all the faeces accumulated in your body?
The other organs in the body that help in detoxifying the body are - skin, liver, lungs, large intestine, and kidneys. The skin detoxifies the body by producing sweat and throwing out the toxins and excess water out of the body, thus helping regulate body temperature. The liver excretes drugs, foreign substances, hormones, etc. The lungs pump out harmful carbon dioxide.
Thus, each organ plays an important role in detoxifying the body in some way or the other. We can aid the body in detoxification by consuming a healthy diet, exercising regularly, drinking a lot of water and meditating.
What Is Khichdi?
Khichdi is considered a wonder detox food by many. It is a stomach-friendly and easy-to-make dish made out of rice, lentils (dal) and spices. It is easy to make this because it is cooked in just one pot. This dish originated in the Indian subcontinent. It is something like salted oats or salty porridge.
Different variations of khichdis are prepared in each state of India. Certain vegetables like potato, green peas and cauliflower are added by some states. It is the food you want to come home to after a tiring day. It's what we term "comfort food". In the recent times, Khichdi is being promoted as "queen of all foods" by the Government of India.
The main ingredients of Khichdi are considered very healthy.
Rice - It provides instant energy to the body when consumed. It stabilizes blood sugar levels, improves the bowel movements, boosts metabolism, reduces blood pressure, slows down ageing and is healthy for the skin.
Lentils - These on the other hand are termed as the "healthiest foods" of all time. They are legumes that are available throughout the year. They readily absorb flavours and are also easy to digest. They are a rich source of cholesterol-reducing fibres. They are also great sources of B-Vitamins and protein.
Spices - Various spices aid in digestion and are good for the health of other systems in the body.
Here are nine khichdis that are perfect for a detox:
1. Moong Dal Khichdi: This is the most basic type of khichdi variant. It is prepared using rice and moong dal.
- The rice (2/3 cup) and dal (1/3 cup) are taken in a bowl and washed 2-3 times.
- The mixture is then transferred to a pressure cooker.
- A tablespoon of turmeric powder and salt to taste are added to the mixture.
- Oil, ghee and red chilli powder are optional.
- Three and a half cups of water is then added to the cooker to finish off.
- The mixture is pressure-cooked until about 4 whistles.
The yummy detoxifying khichdi is ready to eat with milk or curd.
All Khichdis are cooked by the same process, but with a difference in their ingredients.
2. Sabudana Khichdi: This variation uses Sabudana (Sago) and potatoes with spices like salt and green chillies. It is consumed by Hindus during fasts when grains are not consumed. It is rich in fibre, Vitamin C, minerals and carbohydrates.
3. Sindhi Khichdi: This is made with green gram dal and spices like asafoetida, cumin seeds and turmeric powder. It's a popular breakfast recipe in all of the Sindhi households.
4. Bajra Khichdi: This is a powerful detox dish. Bajra has Phosphorus, high content of fibre and proteins. It is easy to digest and is a energy-packed food.
5. Kuttu Khichdi: This Khichdi helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It is made from Kuttu which is rich in fibre, proteins and vitamins. It also contains a good amount of Zinc, Magnesium and Copper.
6. Vegetable Khichdi: It is loaded with vegetables. Different coloured vegetables are added to increase its health factor. It is rich in proteins, carbohydrates, antioxidants, minerals and a lot of fibre!
7. Bengali Khichdi: It is made from husked and split moong dal. Many vegetables like green peas, potatoes and cauliflower are added. Cardamom, cloves and cinnamon are used along with other spices to get a rich flavour.
8. Corn Khichdi: This one's got a lot of fibre and antioxidants that help regulate sugar and blood pressure. It's made out of whole corn with numerous spices.
9. Brown Rice Khichdi: The only variation in this Khichdi is, it's made out of brown rice. Brown rice has fibre that keeps the digestive system healthy. It also has Calcium, Vitamin B3, Magnesium, Selenium and Copper.
What makes Khichdi such a wonderful detox food are the ingredients that are used to cook it. Each ingredient plays an important role in our body. It cleanses and keeps the digestive system healthy.
As kids, we hated this food, but who knew it'd turn out to be such a super detox-food?