Healthy Foods during the Sangam period?
In modern civilization, a society that takes care of the health of women excels in all fields. When a woman is healthy the entire generation is hale and healthy. The best period that took care of women very well was sangam period. During the Sangam period, the adolescent phase of a girl was divided into seven stages. Depending upon the stages, the women of those days followed the appropriate lifestyle and proper food habits.
The important period in the life of a woman is the period before her marriage. This period was known as madanthai. This stage was between 19 years and 24 years. The next stage was called Arivai. It was between 25 years to 29 years. During this stage, in ancient time young women consumed traditional whole grains like Bamboo rice and Karuppu kavuni rice (Black kavuni rice).
This rice has now been forgotten and has disappeared from our kitchens. The Bamboo rice is harvested at the end of the life span of a Bamboo tree of 40 years as bamboo seeds.
According to the Siddha scholars, diseases arise in our body when there is an imbalance of the doshas namely vatha, Kapha and pitha. This Bamboo rice not only balances the doshas but also strengthens the nerves and muscles of our body.
We will now see in what ways we can take Bamboo rice:
- The young women can take porridge made of Bamboo rice.
- We can also make puttu, a rice delicacy, made of Barnyard and Bamboo rice.
- We can prepare idli and dosa from Thooyamalli rice, a little of Bamboo rice and black urad dal. It is both tasty and healthy.
- We can prepare idli podi made out of Bamboo rice and Black Horse gram.
- We can prepare soup from drumstick leaves (Moringa keerai), Bamboo rice and a pinch of Himalayan rock salt (Indu uppu).
- We can make upma out of Mappillai samba flakes/aval. This strengthens our muscles.
Karuppu Kavuni Rice (Black rice)
Another rice to be consumed by women of this age is the most famous rice known as “Emperor’s Rice” which is Karupu kavuni rice. Due to the medicinal properties present in this rice, it was consumed only by the members of the royal family and rich people. This rice is also called Forbidden rice because this rice was once reserved for the Chinese Emperor to ensure his health and long life. It was withheld from public consumption.
Karuppu kavuni rice is used even today by different people in South India. This rice is rich in antioxidants and iron. It protects and strengthens the heart and uterus.
It gets its purple hue or black color due to the high levels of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are very powerful antioxidants. Black rice is rich in vitamin E, fiber, and mineral salts. Since it is rich in the above nutrients it strengthens the heart. It prevents diseases like diabetes and cancer. Weight watchers need to consume Karuppu kavuni Rice regularly.
Note: Black rice or Karuppu kavuni rice contain antioxidants that strengthen the brain cells and boosts memory power. Due to this Alzheimer’s disease is prevented by the intake of this rice. So modern-day researchers call Karuppu kavuni rice as New Age Superfood and it is also called Nature’s most well balanced superfood.