Betel leaves, also known as paan, have been a part of Indian culture for centuries. This small but mighty leaf has conquered the hearts and taste buds of millions of Indians. From weddings to festivals, the paan is an essential part of every celebration and finds its way into the hearts of young and old. But did you know that paan is not just a fun and tasty leaf, but also packed with health benefits? Yes, you read that right! From managing diabetes to reducing stress, this humble leaf has numerous medicinal properties that can do wonders for your health.
According to ResearchGate, around 15 to 20 million people in India consume betel leaves every year. This leaf is traditionally cultivated on an area of 55,000 hectares in India, with an annual production of about 9000 crores. On average, about 66 percent of the production comes from West Bengal.
Nutritional value of betel leaves
Betel leaves have anti-diabetic, cardiovascular, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, and anti-infective properties. Per 100 grams, betel leaves contain 1.3 micrograms of iodine, 4.6 micrograms of potassium, 1.9 mol or 2.9 mcg of vitamin A, 13 micrograms of vitamin B1, and 0.63 to 0.89 micrograms of nicotinic acid.
Also Read: Betel Leaf Has Health Benefits! Try this paan shot recipe to keep you cool in summer
Health benefits of betel leaves
Let us now discuss the benefits of betel leaves and how paan can be beneficial for your health:
1. Helps control constipation
Betel leaves are considered to be a powerhouse of antioxidants that maintain the normal pH level in the body and alleviate stomach related problems. Its use is especially beneficial in cases of constipation. To ease stomach problems, crush betel leaves and soak overnight. After getting up in the morning, filter the water and drink it on an empty stomach.
2. Maintains oral health
Betel leaves contain many antimicrobial properties that relieve bad breath, yellowing of teeth, plaque, and cavities. Chewing a small amount of paste made from betel leaves after meals benefits oral health. It also provides relief from toothache, gum pain, swelling, and oral infection. Famous nutritionist Shweta Shah says that betel leaves have natural antiseptic properties that help prevent the growth of bacteria in the mouth and improve oral hygiene.
3. Beneficial for the respiratory system
Betel leaves are especially used in Ayurveda for the treatment of respiratory diseases such as cough, bronchitis and asthma. Compounds found in the leaves help relieve congestion and improve respiration.
4. Relieves stress
Chewing betel leaves relieves stress and anxiety. It relaxes the body and mind, and the phenolic compounds found in betel leaves release the organic compound catecholamine from the body. Therefore, chewing betel leaves can help to avoid frequent mood swings.
5. Control diabetes
Betel leaves have antihyperglycemic properties that work to control the sugar problem. Betel leaves prevent the amount of glucose in the blood from increasing. People with type 2 diabetes benefit from chewing its leaves on an empty stomach in the morning.
Apart from this, betel leaves have various benefits for hair and help to stimulate hair growth and make it voluminous. So, try using these paan hair masks to get the hair of your dreams!
How to consume betel leaves?
For best results, betel leaves should be consumed as follows:
1. To control diabetes, it is recommended to chew betel leaves on an empty stomach in the morning.
2. If you are stressed, you can eat plain or sweet bread. Its phenolic compounds will help you improve your mood.
3. To relieve constipation, soak betel leaves in water overnight. Drinking this water after filtering it in the morning relieves constipation.