Did you know that scientists have discovered an intriguing protein molecule that they consider as the “aging switch?” What’s even better is that there is a natural way to turn it off!
We all know that aging is not a disease. It is a natural process that everybody will go through in their lifetime. It’s supposed to be a wonderful journey, which manifests our growth as individuals. Aging is an opportunity to look back at how well we have lived.
However, there are many health conditions associated with aging, particularly inflammatory and degenerative diseases like arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, hypertension, heart disease, cataract and an increased risk for cancer. These diseases make the aging process difficult for most people. Some individuals also experience signs of aging earlier than expected, also known as premature aging. Hence, the discovery of the aging switch became even more significant.
In this article, I’ll share with you how the “aging switch” works and how a simple recipe can help turn it off.
So, what’s an aging switch?
What is an aging switch?
The “aging switch” refers to the protein called High Mobility Group Box-1 (HMGB1). Other researchers call the HMGB1 as the cytokine switch.
So how does this HMGB1 function? How does it fast track aging? Constant exposure to injuries, allergies, heavy metals, toxic chemicals, unhealthy diet, excessive radiation from sunlight, overwhelming stress and inactivity all contributes to premature aging and the increase of HMGB1 level.
The HMGB1 protein molecule is actually the trigger of cytokine release. Cytokines are chemical signals that produce inflammation in your body. When inflammation accumulates, the aging process accelerates. Likewise, this age-related inflammation causes the development of many diseases. Hence, scientists believe that turning off the activities of HMGB1 is the key to slowing down aging and prevent premature aging as well.
So what can you do? Start eating Kitchari!
Why should you start eating Kitchari?
Kitchari is an Ayurveda recipe that uses the mixture of rice and mung beans as primary ingredients. It’s rich in complete protein and easy to digest. This dish is often used for the pre-cleansing in our Nutritional Detox Program.
But how does kitchari help in turning off the aging switch? And what’s so special about it? Mung beans! Yes, mung beans in kitchari are capable of turning off the aging switch.
In a study conducted using mung bean coat, the findings revealed that it could extend one’s lifespan up to 70%-82%. This has been associated with the ability of mung beans coat extract to reduce cellular HMGB1 levels, which is then again the trigger of cytokine release that causes chronic inflammation and premature aging. In fact, mung beans were used since the1950s in China as nutritional food and herbal medicine against some inflammatory conditions. And it’s a traditional Ayurvedic dish in India for thousands of years already.
Mung beans are also packed with nutrients including B vitamins, copper, folate, manganese, magnesium, potassium and zinc. It is also rich in antioxidants, which support detoxification, reduce the risk for cancer development and significantly help in regulating cholesterol levels. The peptide in mung beans also provides its ability to regulate high blood pressure. Overall, mung beans in kitchari are good for the heart.
Aside from the role of mung beans in reducing the HMGB1 levels and slowing down the aging process, kitchari as a whole have many other health benefits.
Other Health Benefits of Kitchari
As mentioned earlier, kitchari is used during detoxification. It is the best nutritional support, as it provides complete protein supplement, which helps stabilize your blood sugar during the cleansing. This prevents your body from undergoing stress during detoxification, thus maximizing your body’s ability to eliminate heavy metals, environmental toxins, preservatives, chemicals, pesticides and other harmful substances out from your fat cells. As a result, it will help your body to burn more fats.
Moreover, kitchari also helps in restoring gut health. Since, it is easy to digest, it allows the gut to rest while providing the necessary nourishment that improves gut health.
So here’s the most exciting part! You can make your own kitchari at home. Check the recipe below.
How To Make Kitchari At Home?
Again, there are two primary ingredients in kitchari: 1) basmati rice and 2) mung beans. Make sure to choose long grain white rice over short grain rice because it is more nutritious and has a lower glycemic index (GI) rate. This means that despite its carbohydrates content, the sugar content is slowly broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream without spiking your blood sugar levels, thereby keeping your blood sugar stable.
For mung beans, you may use soaked whole mung beans, sprouted or split yellow mung dal beans. But the split yellow mung beans is more preferable, as it is easier to digest and it will not produce intestinal gas because its husk will naturally fall off. You can purchase split yellow mung dal beans in the Asian or Indian grocery stores or through online stores. Take note as well to add your favourite vegetables towards the end of cooking to avoid overcooking the veggies.
So what are the ingredients needed? Here’s the list:
1 cup split yellow mung beans or 2 cups mung bean sprouts (can soak beans overnight and rinse with water)
¼ – ½ cup basmati rice (washed)
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger root
1 tsp. black mustard seeds,
1 tsp. each – cumin and turmeric powder
½ tsp. Coriander powder
½ tsp. fennel
½ tsp. fenugreek seeds
3 bay leaves
4-7 cups water
½ tsp. rock salt or Bragg Liquid Aminos
1 cup chopped Cilantro/ coriander
1 Tbsp. raw sugar
1 Tbsp. desiccated coconut (optional)
1 tsp. ground sesame seeds (optional)
- Wash split yellow mung beans (dal) and rice together until water runs clear.
- Heat a large pot over medium heat and then add all the spices (except the bay leaves). Dry roast for a few minutes to enhance the flavor.
- Add mung dal beans and rice, and stir again.
- Add water and bay leaves, and bring to a boil.
- Boil for 10 minutes.
- Turn the heat from medium to low, cover the pot and continue to cook until dhal and rice become soft (30-40 minutes)
- Add salt or Bragg’s to taste.
- Garnish with cilantro.
And that’s it! A simple and tasty dish that may help to turn off the aging switch. We also use kitchari for the pre-cleansing in our Nutritional Detox Program, a 21-day detox challenge that will help you to get healthier, feel rejuvenated and cleanse your systems.
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