Kanji An Indian Probiotic Food in English Health by Dr. Bhairavsinh Raol books and stories PDF | Kanji An Indian Probiotic Food

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Kanji An Indian Probiotic Food

What are probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms that are intended to have health benefits when consumed or applied to the body. Probiotics are foods or supplements that contain live microorganisms intended to maintain or improve the "good" bacteria (normal microflora) in the gut. Lactobacillus and bifidobacterium species are the most commonly used probiotics.The most commonly used probiotic strains include the lactic acid bacteria (LAB), Gram-positive microbes that have been used for centuries in food production processes (yogurt, cheese, pickles).
The most common fermented foods that naturally contain probiotics, or have probiotics added to them, include yogurt,Dahi, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, miso, tempeh, kimchi, sourdough bread and some cheeses.

Since the mid-1990s, clinical studies suggest that probiotic therapy can help treat several gastrointestinal illnesses, delay the development of allergies in children, and treat and prevent vaginal and urinary tract infections in women.

In this article,we are discussing about Kanji a fermented food product,a drink popular in North India and not about the kanji a water obtained from boiled rice which is a good source of energy.

Kanji or rice water is rich in carbohydrates, and hence, an excellent source of energy. The body can easily derive energy by breaking down carbohydrates. Drink a glass of rice water in the morning before heading out and you will never feel dizzy or weak due to lack of energy.

Kanji (Kanji Drink) is a traditional north Indian probiotic drink that is made by fermenting black carrots in water and spices. It comes together in under 15 minutes of preparation time (vegan, gluten-free).

Preparation of Kanji:
Kanji is made with water, peeled black carrot ,peeled beet root, crushed brown mustard seeds and heeng and sea salt. It may be served with boondi sprinkled on top.
Kanji is a salty and sour Indian probiotic drink slightly similar to Beet Kvass.
1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds (crushed)
1 tablespoon heeng powder
4-5 large black carrots (peeled)
1 large beet (peeled)
1 black carrot
6-7 cups filtered water (or enough to cover the vegetables)
1 tablespoon fine Sea Salt

During its preparation, black carrot and beet are washed, shredded and mixed with sea salt and crushed mustard seeds and heeng powder and placed in earthen pot and allowed to ferment naturally at 26-34°C for 4-7 days.
The fermentation process changes the flavors of the drink and makes it probiotic.

Alcohol content in kanji is 2.5% and pH is 4.0 showing the product as mild alcoholic and acidic in taste (Sura et al. 2001) .
It should be consumed in three to four days

Benifits of Kanji drink:
Nutritionally, kanji is high in antioxidants.
An age-old home remedy, Kanji is effective in treating bloating, cough, joint weakness, digestive issues, and more.
It is also one of the best immune-boosting drinks, especially used during the winter, as it helps prevent bacteria-borne illnesses.
It also aids in ensuring the overall wellness of the body.
The mustard in the kanji drink keeps the body warm during the cold winters of North India.
Rich in energy-rich carbohydrates, Kanji or grain water is your best bet! All you have to do is have a glass in the morning before leaving home and you will not feel weak or dizzy throughout the day. It prevents constipation thanks to the rich fibre content of the grains and it also smoothens bowel movements.
It's good for your Gut-Health.
Kanji is loaded with probiotics. This makes Kanji an excellent aid for your gut health. It helps boost metabolism, regulate bowel movement and prevents constipation. It is also rich in dietary fibre which further aids in promoting gut health.

Kanji is easy to make and has a good shelf life with many benefits. According to Ayurveda, you should avoid fermented food and drinks during summer season and consume them during winter and autumn, as the digestive fire is at its lowest.
Here are some benefits of Kanji:
•Promotes gut health. Kanji is rich in probiotics as it is brewed from fermentation. It replaces bad bacteria with good bacteria in our gut .
•Boosts immunity. Being rich in Vitamin C, a glass of kanji enhances our immunity , and prevents us from getting the flu.
•Heart-healthy and diabetic friendly.
•Anti-aging properties.
Incredibly nutritious, black carrots have high amounts of anthocyanins, a pigment that gives the vegetable a deep purple colour that looks almost black. Winters in India are incomplete with various carrot preparations. Black carrots are used to make" kali gajar ki kanji", a fermented drink.

About Black/purple carrots:
Black carrots appear in the winters in North India and these give the kanji its characteristic purple colour. If you don't have black carrots, then adding beet root gives this rich dark purple colour.
Due to the high anthocyanin content, kali gajar or black carrots are also incredibly healthy. Black carrot juice has 28 times more anthocyanin than regular orange carrots! These carrots are chock full of nutrients that can fight diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity and oxidative stress
Though all types of carrots are nutritious and healthy, purple carrots contain powerful antioxidants called "anthocyanins" that have impressive effects on your health. Eating purple carrots may improve heart health, encourage weight loss, and reduce inflammation and your risk of certain cancers.

Purple Carrots healthier than orange carrots:
Purple carrots contain all the nutrients of orange carrots, but they've also been shown to have greater anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects. A recent Australian study showed that the purple pigment that cases the carrot contained up to 28 times more anthocyanin antioxidants than those in orange carrots.Hence black carrots are preferred for preparation of Kanji an Indian fermented drink similar to Kvass.

Information compiled by :
Dr. Bhairavsinh Raol