Makar (Kichadi) Sankranti: Worship the Sun

Makar Sakranti is also known as Khichidi Sakranti as people generally make Kichidi to celebrate this day. On this auspicious occasion try the DesiDieter's recipe for Bajra Khichidi.

On the eve of Makar Sankrant people make Til and Jaggery Ladoos. Til is a good source of minerals like Fe, Mg, Ca, Co and Vitamin E which has antioxidant properties and is good for the skin. It also contains liganins, phytosterols, phytoestrogen which contribute to Til's anti cancer properties. Jaggery is a traditional unrefined non-centrifugal sugar which does not contain chemicals. It is very useful in treating health problems like dry cough, asthma, indigestion, constipation and cough with sputum. Together Til and Jaggery form a very healthy and delicious team.

This is also the day when the sun begins its northward journey. It usually falls in the middle of January. For the people of the northern hemisphere, the northward path of the sun marks the period when the sun is getting closer and closer to them, when the days are getting longer, and it is becoming warmer and warmer.

The Benefits of Sunlight/Sunshine

Sunlight or sunshine, whichever way you call it is one of the most useful and helpful elements that nature has provided mankind. Without it, we would experience the ice age once more and swimming would be unheard of.

It's A Mix!

Not everything about the sun is all good nor is it all bad. A mix exists between the two and it depends on you which one of the two is best for your body. So, here are the things that you should know about the benefits of the sun.

Take a Sun Bath

Despite what you may have been led to believe regarding sunlight, getting the adequate dose of responsible sun bathing could make you healthier and happier. Consider the sun as your friend who should not be taken for granted. Make use of your friendship with sun in a judicial and responsible manner. This could be very beneficial, just as long as you avoid the damaging effects of having chronic exposure.

Taking It in Small Doses

Be sure that you understand that there are risks of getting skin cancer versus your sunlight needs. Obviously, getting sunburned is not right. Neither is looking directly into the sun. However, getting a small dose of daily sunshine on your skin and indirectly in your eyes is actually essential for having good health.

New Findings and Old Facts

There have been new findings suggesting that sunshine could reduce the risks of various cancer forms such as breast, prostrate, ovarian, and colon cancer. UV rays are actually your main Vitamin D source. This vitamin's major biological function is to maintain your normal blood levels of phosphorus and calcium. And as you know, calcium is vital for having good bone health.

Increase the Oxygen Level

It is also a vasodilator, which means it helps in increasing the level of oxygen that your blood moves around your body. As this happens, you get to have a boost in your energy levels. Your mental faculties also sharpen and you can experience an enhanced sense of "good feeling" about yourself. Additionally, safe sunbathing can also improve conditions like eczema, acne, and psoriasis.