Every individual must take care of his health. To attain good health it is essential to follow the rules of good nutrition, regular exercise and regulation in sexual activity. In Ayurveda, it is believed that all living beings are a composite of the five basic elements i.e. Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Sky. In order to keep life going, it is important to replenish these elements through natural foods which are the sources of these elements. To achieve this we must have foods which are naturally available just as nuts, fruits, vegetables, cereals etc.
Dry fruit contain substantial quantities of essential nutrients in a rational proportion. They are excellent source of minerals, vitamins and enzymes. They are easy to digest and clean the blood and the digestive area. Persons who have this natural diet will always enjoy good health. Also the illness caused by the intake of unnatural foods can be successfully treated by fruits. Though nuts and raisins are small in size, amount of power they provide us when consumed make them very big. Fresh and dry fruits are very essential since besides being food for us they also have strong medicinal properties.
Following are some of the main dry fruits:
When grapes are dried properly they turn into raisins. They have high nourishing qualities. Raisins have enough sugar content and hence increased food value. Raisins are an excellent food in all cases of debility and wasting diseases. They are also valuable during period of recovery.
Raisins prove very helpful during the treatment of constipation. When soaked in a glassful of drinking water for 24 to 48 hours should be eaten early in the morning, after discarding the stones. This water in which raisins were soaked can also be drunk. If it is followed every morning then it does help to great extent in case of chronic constipation.
Raisins can be regularly given even to babies as an extract in water to help regular bowel action. Six to ten raisins, depending on the child's age, can be soaked in boiling water and kept aside for a while. When cool, the raisins should be powdered to get their juice into the water. Care should be taken to see that the skin of the raisins does not upset the stomach. Raisins enrich blood as it is a rich source of easily iron. They prove helpful in anemia. Raisins also help to gain weight. According to Ayurveda, black raisins are used for re-establishment of sexual vigor.
Cashew nuts have the kidney-shaped seeds that grow at the bottom of the cashew apple, the fruit of the cashew tree, which is native to the coastal areas of northeastern Brazil. Cashew nuts provide protein and fiber to body. They are rich in mono-unsaturated fat that prove helpful to prevent the heart problems. They are also a good source of potassium, B vitamins and folate. Also they possess useful amounts of magnesium, phosphorous, selenium and copper.
The date is a nutritious food. It has natural sugar in the form of glucose and fructose. Grind dates in the same water in which they have been soaked overnight after removing the seeds and have it at least twice a week. This will build up the heart. Dates also help in removing hangover. In such cases, drinking water in which fresh dates have been flooded brings quick relief. The nicotine content in dates is helpful for intestinal disturbances and is a good laxative.
The almond is also very nutritious food. Almond milk is the most useful preparation of almonds. It is rich in vitamins. It is more advantages as compared to ordinary milk. It is easy to digest than the cow's milk and is helpful for the babies with whom the cow's milk does not agree.
Unsaturated fats found in almonds have good medicinal values. The medicinal qualities of almonds occur from dynamic action of iron, copper, phosphorus and vitamin B1. These provide increased energy due to chemical interaction and help in the creation of new blood cells, hemoglobin and help in proper functioning of brain, heart, nerves, bones and liver. They help in strengthening the muscles and in long life.
Almonds paste with milk cream and fresh paste of rose bud applied regularly over the face increases face beauty. It makes the skin soft and bleaches the skin. If applied from young age it helps avoiding early wrinkles, black heads, dry skin, pimples and enhances freshness on face.
Small amount of almond oil applied over scalp helps to cure the problem of falling hair, thinness of hair, dandruff and early graying of hair. Almonds should be chewed properly and they should be taken after some time interval from meals. They have high calorific value. They help to prevent anemia.
They are also recommended in case of chronic constipation problems. It is also useful in case of loss of sexual energy that happens due to nervous breakdown and brain weakness. Wild almonds also help to cure skin diseases, especially eczema. To achieve this, a few leaves of the wild almond are powdered with water and the cream. It is then applied to the affected parts.
The blend of almonds is helpful in bronchial diseases, hoarseness and cough. Regular intake of the dry fruits results in both mental and physical development of human body.
Figs are one of the highest plant sources of calcium and fiber.
dried figs are richest in fiber, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamin K, relative to human needs. They have smaller amounts of many other nutrients. Figs have a laxative effect and contain many antioxidants. They are good source of flavonoids and polyphenols In one study, a 40-gram portion of dried figs (two medium size figs) produced a significant increase in plasma antioxidant capacity
Walnuts are also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, and have been shown as helpful in lowering cholesterol.
The walnuts’ nutritional value is comparable to that one of cheeses for the high presence of proteins (14-24%) and fats (52-70%). Walnuts are a high source of essential unsaturated fatty acids such as the alfa-linoleic acid. Their content in proteins and vitamins is good, especially in vitamins of the B group and E, and in minerals, K and Mg are worth mentioning. Very important compounds are amino acids (glutamic acid, arginine and leucine) but particularly a sulfured one: taurine (2-aminoethylsulfon ic acid, presents in variable quantities between 0,2 and 0,6 mg%.), important compound because it is involved in many functions: homeostatic regulation, thermoregulation, nervous conduction, protection against oxidative stress, etc.
Regular consumption of walnuts helps in lowering cholesterol levels, controlling high blood sugars, and improving cardiovascular functions. It is good for various hearth problems. The reason for these benefits of walnuts is that they contain unsaturated fats and little cholesterol, significant amount of omega-3 and antioxidant properties. Walnuts can help prevent gallstones.