Winter season is obviously full of chilled days and colder nights that one and all prepare for. This season is also synonymous with festivities and celebrations, a season for weddings, and many Indian festivals. These festivities come with an additional dose of rich foods and indulgent eating that one needs to be aware of.
Winters are also synonymous with a bountiful supply of winter vegetables! The season is loaded with an array of vegetables that are seen only during winter. The best about these vegetables is that not only are they the season’s special, but they are a powder house of nutrients. Whether you talk about red carrots, Bathua, sarson, green garlic and so on.
It is nutritionally very beneficial to eat these seasonal special vegetables in abundance as most of them are loaded with goodness that often helps to strengthen the body and improve one’s immunity to brave the winters and ensure your body remains free from any illness and is able to combat the winter blues.
This humble green seasonal vegetable is often hidden behind the mighty sarson and is often considered the sidekick in the seasonal hit, “Sarson ka saag”. Undoubtedly, the ‘saag’ is a perfect food, as it is delicious, season’s special and is full of nutrients that promote good health.
Bathua on its own is also no less than a powerhouse of nutrients. Its use is not only limited as an addition in ‘sarson ka saag’ but is used in many recipes like Bathua raita, Bathua paratha, bathua sabji etc.
Even according to Ayurveda, Bathua is recognized as a powerhouse of nutrition. It highlights the importance of consuming this highly beneficial seasonal vegetable. In Ayurveda, Bathua is said to have many medicinal properties and is called, ‘rakhta shodhak’ which means it is a blood purifier, ‘yakrit utejak’ which means it is a liver activator or simply helps to keep the liver healthy. Other than the consumption of Bathua, Ayurveda also promotes the topical application of Bathua in the form of a poultice to relieve localized aches and pains.
This simple Bathua goes by many names such as, ‘chenopodium album’ which is its botanical name. Other common names include lamb’s quarters, melde, goosefoot, fat hen etc. It is also known as ‘wild spinach’. This green leafy vegetable is found in many countries like China, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan among others.
Health Benefits of Bathua
We now know that Bathua is a very healthy green leafy vegetable, now let us see more of the health benefits that it provides. Adding Bathua to your meal plates is a great idea, obviously because it adds that element of green. It is full of fibre and rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin B complex. It also is full of essential minerals like amino acids, iron potassium, phosphorus and calcium. Making it a much-needed addition to your meals.
- Acts as a blood purifier – Bathua is rich in iron and so is good for the blood. It also helps to eliminate toxins from the blood and removes impurities from the blood. And so helps to clear out all other health conditions caused due to impure blood, like poor skin health, acne etc.
- Promotes liver health – Bathua is said to have amino acids, that help to heal and repair. It also works on the liver, thus improving its functioning ability. This also helps to improve the overall health.
- Acts as a natural laxative – All who suffer from constipation would know that including high fibre in your diet can go a long way in improving your gut health and bowel movements. Bathua is very rich in fibre, which helps to add bulk to stool formation and ease symptoms of constipation, so acts as a natural laxative.
- Aids cell repair and regeneration – Bathua is full of amino acids, that help in the natural repair and regeneration of cells. It also helps to boost your immunity and body metabolism. This helps in improving the overall health of the body.
- Assists weight loss – In any weight loss journey, one of the biggest challenges is to find foods, that are low in calories but still make you feel full for a long time. Bathua fits the bill perfectly. A bowl full of Bathua leaves has approximately just around 40 calories. And because Bathua is full of fibre, it helps your stomach feel full for a longer duration of time. It is also a great source of iron, amino acids and many vitamins and minerals. Hence it is a perfect food to be consumed when on a weight loss program.
- Helps to improve hair – Being full of vitamins and minerals, Bathua is naturally a health booster. It provides the scalp, hair and body with many nutrients that help to improve the strength of hair. This in turn causes a significant reduction in hair fall, resulting in long and lustrous hair that shines with good health.
- Improves eyesight – Bathua is rich in iron, zinc, Vitamin A and other nutrients that are very good for the eyes. This is especially important in today’s times when adults and children alike, spend a lot of time in front of screens causing additional strain on the eyes. One is often advised to consume more green leafy vegetables to improve eyesight, and Bathua does exactly that!
- Improves dental health – All those suffering from dental and oral troubles like bad breath, sensitive teeth, poor bleeding gums etc. should definitely include this winter superfood in their diet. Bathua is rich in calcium and helps improve dental troubles like sensitive teeth. Bad breath can often be a cause of embarrassment, consuming Bathua can help reduce bad breath.
- Has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect – Bathua is packed with Vitamin C, calcium and Vitamin B6 and is especially very good for healthy bones and teeth. These nutrients help to provide the body with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It helps healing of injured parts and helps in the repair of damaged cells.
Ways to Consume Bathua
Bathua is a great ingredient to prepare some seasonal special recipes. You can use it to prepare things like Bathua raita, Bathua paratha, Bathua sabzi etc.
Simply clean and chop up some fresh Bathua, and use it with curd as a raita, season it and use it as a stuffing for some delicious paratha. A simple sabzi of Bathua, just using some onions, garlic and green chillies is comforting, served with some millet rotis or hot rice.
After knowing the several advantages that Bathua has on one’s health, we now know that this wintergreen is a ‘must have’. In today’s times, where junk foods and processed foods form a substantial part of your daily diet, including whole and natural foods has become increasingly important for our overall health.
Including this green leafy vegetable would do wonders for your body.