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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: The Search for that magic immunity booster food in Covid times seems to have come to a scientific end.

And that superfood is none other than our very own Pakhala (watery fermented rice) which researchers at the AIIMS Bhubaneswar have certified as the magical immunity booster.

They say the ubiquitous Odia staple food has all the ingredients to keep people ready un fighting any viral attack, Covid being one of those.

Apparently, the humble food Pakhala, which has been silently going on doing its business providing a cooling effect in summer time to the loo-battered poor and at the same time the rich of Odisha, has many more advantages as well. 

The AIIMS study shows that it not only cools your body down, but the fatty acids present in the water ( Torani) can potentially help your body fight Coronavirus as well.

The researchers at the Center for Excellence of Clinical Microbiome Research (CCMR) under the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Bhubaneswar published the study that shows some really encouraging signs for all  Odia households who relish this savory preparation almost every day.

The dish is prepared by leaving cooked rice in water overnight for fermentation and eaten on the next day. The water in Pakhala, called in Odia homes as 'Torani' is a storehouse of microbes which break down the carbohydrates present in the rice to make short-chain fatty acid (SCFA). 

The research was done after studying Pakhala samples collected from 20 places across Odisha for two years. Importantly, only fermented Pakhala has this quality in it and not the fresh one. 

Speaking about the research, Balamurugan Ramadass, additional professor of biochemistry and head of CCMR said, "Pakhala certainly boosts body's immunity. I, myself drink at least 500ml of 'Torani' each day before leaving for work."

Not only it boosts immunity in the body, but the anti-inflammatory property present in the dish can also help relieve your pain and bring down your fever. Pakhala has Lactobacillus bacteria too that can help create antibodies in the body. The research further mentions that it can aid in stopping malnutrition and especially development of the fetus in the ovary.

Pakhala has its connections with the Srimandir in Puri as well where the watery delight is offered to Lord Jagannath.

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