Bael Fruit (Aegle marmelos)

Bael fruit - The nutritious and indigenous fruits of India

The bael fruit occupies an important place among the indigenous fruits of India. It is a woody and smooth food which is 5 to 15 cm in diameter. It has numerous seeds, which are densely covered with fibrous hairs and are embedded in a thick aromatic pulp. The flesh is either eaten fresh or dried.

Bael tree is indigenous to India and the history of this tree has been traced to Vedic period (2000 BC - 800 BC). The mention of bael fruit has been made in Yajur Veda. The tree has great mythological significance, and it abounds in the vicinity of temples. It is held sacred by the Hindus and according to Hindu customs, the leaves of the tree are traditionally used as sacred offering to Lord Shiva, who is believed to live under the bael tree.

The bael fruit is grown throughout India as well as in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Burma, Thailand and most of the south-east Asian countries.

An analysis of the bael fruit shows that it is rich in mineral and vitamin contents. The sherbet made out of this fruit has all the important nutrients and health growing ingredients. It should be thick and syrupy enough to be taken with spoon and it should be thoroughly masticated. The bael fruit should also not be taken in excess at a time as excessive intake of bael may produce a sensation of heaviness in the stomach and may cause gastric discomfort.

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