Health Benefits Of Kanji
The word kanji takes me back to my childhood and my grandmother, who would make it in the winters, and I would sneak into the kitchen when she was not around to quickly grab a glass.
Kanji is a traditional Indian fermented drink in North India enjoyed during winter till Holi. It’s delicious, easy to make, inexpensive, healthy and has probiotic properties. Although some people compare it to Kombucha, the technique of making kanji is very different.
Below is a straightforward recipe for our readers:
-2 sliced purple carrots
-6 cups filtered water
-1 tbsp black or yellow mustard seeds crushed
-1 tbsp Salt
-1/4 tsp red chilly powder
-Combine the cut carrots, crushed mustard seeds, salt, red chilly powder and water in a big glass or ceramic pot or jar.
-Check it daily. If it has a white layer on top, there is some contamination.
-Let the jar sit in a sunny spot for days, and each day stir it with a clean wooden spoon.
-But if the sunshine is good, the drink can ferment in just 2-3 days. Otherwise, it will take 5-6 days.
-Once it is sour and tangy, kanji is ready for consumption, and the jar can be stored without sunlight.
Most international readers must be curious about what kanji is for and its health benefits.
What Is Kanji For?
Kanji is a natural traditional fermented drink to be consumed as an accompaniment before or with meals to help digestion. Purple carrots in kanji are enriched with antioxidants lutein, beta carotene and phenolic compounds like anthocyanins that help boost immune health. 1https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/food.200300373
Another good part about kanji is that carrots, beets etc., get pickled, and pickled vegetables are very beneficial for our digestive health.
Nutritionally a single carrot (60g), irrespective of its color, provides: 2https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/2345173/nutrients
Vitamin A: 501mcg
Vitamin K: 7.92mcg
Now, let us look at the health benefits of this natural probiotic kanji drink.
Related Article: Probiotics For Gut Health | 9 Probiotics-Rich Foods
Health Benefits Of Kanji
May Support Immunity
Kanji consists of carrots, and they are rich in vitamin C, A, K, fiber, potassium, and magnesium and has antimicrobial and anti-viral properties. All these help our body fight against many health conditions, metabolic diseases and microbial infections. 3https://www.researchgate.net/publication/40046303_Probiotic_lactic_acid_bacterium_from_kanjika_as_a_potential_source_of_vitamin_B12_Evidence_from_LC, 4https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5613902/, 5https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4145465/
Purple carrots are rich in ‘anthocyanin,’ an antioxidant that may improve eyesight and cardiovascular health and may help diabetic patients. 6https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18356330/, 7https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16038718/, 8https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17344514/, 9https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26424400/, 10https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16925866/ A study on 124,000 subjects observed that a diet high in anthocyanin-rich foods like carrots resulted in greater weight loss. 11https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26823518/
May Prevent Cancer
Purple carrots have the antioxidant anthocyanin which has anti-cancer properties. Studies suggested that anthocyanins may slow down the growth of skin, blood, breast and colon cancer cells. 12https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29546679/, 13https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2582525/, 14https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5394516/
May Help In Weight Loss
A diet high in vegetables and fruits, low in calories, and high in dietary fiber would be very nutritious and helps keep body weight in check. A study on 124,000 subjects observed that a diet high in anthocyanin-rich foods like carrots resulted in greater weight loss. 15https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26823518/
Besides all these health benefits, kanji is prepared by fermentation and a probiotic. So let’s see how good probiotics are for you.
How Good Are Probiotics For You
Being a fermented drink, Kanji is high in potential probiotic organisms. The definition of probiotics as per FAO/WHO is:
Live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.
As per NIH, various probiotics may have multiple and different effects. For example, they may: 16 https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics-what-you-need-to-know#:~:text=Probiotics%20might%3A,Influence%20your%20body’ , 17https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics-what-you-need-to-know#:~:text=Probiotics%20might%3A,Influence%20your%20body’ s%20immune%20response
-Help our body maintain a healthy community of microorganisms
-Create material that may have desirable effects
-Influence our body’s immune response
Evidence suggests that consuming ‘probiotic’ microorganisms may help create a microbial and healthy gut. They also assist in keeping harmful bacteria in check and stopping them from entering the blood. So it is essential to consume essential probiotic foods and drinks. 18https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4045285/
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