By City Foodsters via Flickr

BIRD NESTS BENEFITS AND SIDE EFFECTS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE BUYING 


Talk to anyone about treasured healthy Chinese food and you will definitely hear the name of this yummy treat: Bird’s Nest! Edible bird’s nest is one of the most prized and lavish delicacies in the world, due to its rarity and high nutritional value. One of the nicknames given to bird’s nest, especially the creamy-white nests of the highest grade, is “white gold”. The reason is mainly to do with its shape looking very similar to the ancient Chinese gold ingot and at the same time, the value of this delicacy. The bird nest price in Singapore is sky-high. In fact, one kilogram of bird’s nest can cost as much as near to four thousand Singapore dollars! So, this makes one wonder.. What are the bird nest benefits that attract so much demand from the Chinese? Read on to understand everything about bird nest!


The Tonic Everyone Loves


In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), bird’s nest is considered as one of the most popular tonics among the ladies. A lot of will-be mums also consume bird nest during pregnancy. The nature of bird’s nest is known to be nourishing, especially to the Lung and Kidney meridian functions. It is believed that regular consumption of bird’s nest can help to boost our body’s immune system, increasing our resistance against nasty environmental factors and thus, preventing us from catching flu or colds.

These TCM claims are not baseless. Studies show that the predigested nutrients like proteins found within the bird’s nest are great in cellular repair, and can help to aid our bodies from chronic diseases. Since bird’s nest is known to be nourishing to our lungs, it is also often used to combat respiratory problems like chronic cough, dry coughs and even cases of asthma. Some even made the link between bird nest medicinal benefits and cancer,  due to the precious delicacy’s immunity boosting ability. The cooling nature of this tonic may also be helpful for the patients undergoing the painful treatment therapy sessions. Importantly, other than those who are allergic, there are not a lot of bird nest side effects

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So, why is this tonic a hot favorite among the ladies, especially with pregnant moms?

It is mainly due to the bird nest benefits that is known to give us beautiful skin complexion. This glutinous saliva made from swiftlets are known to contain high traces of epidermal growth factors (EGFs), which can greatly boost our complexion and help to restore our youthfulness in our looks. Other than EGFs, the other nutrients like beneficial amino acids and sugars can also play important roles in ensuring the smoothness of our skin texture. Skincare companies even made use of their knowledge about these beneficial bird nest nutrition to manufacture cosmetic and skin protection products.  


When is the best time to consume bird nest? 


Health experts have pointed out that in consuming bird’s nest, it is best to enjoy either early in the morning on an empty stomach or in the late evening before sleep. Nutritionists explained that with an empty stomach in the morning, the bird nest drink will be absorbed in the most efficient and effective manner. Another option is to have the soup or drink late in the evening, right before bedtime. The rationale is that once you fall asleep, at about one hour later, your body will release certain hormones to aid in the better digestion and absorption of the bird’s nest into our body. With that, the body will best utilize these breakdown nutrients from the bird’s nest for the body use.


The Different Bird Nest Grade


There are many places where to buy bird nest in singapore, including TCM herbal shops and Chinese retail shops. Now, you can even get to purchase popular bottled bird nest drink in big supermarkets, like NTUC. With the large variety of choices, the tough question will then be on how to choose the bird’ nest of the best grade. If you are lucky enough to pick up the highest grade, you can expect this very pure form of bird’s nest to be blood-red, gold or white in color, have thicker looking strands and a stronger nicer aroma when boiled. They also have a more distinct taste. Another great characteristic of high grade bird nest is that for preparation, it does not require a lot of processing and cleaning as it is nearly 90% edible when harvested. 

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As for those looking for this tonic with a tighter budget, you can consider bird’s nest of the second and third grade who are about 50% and 15% edible when harvested. More preparation steps are required to process and clean before cooking. Here’s a few tips for you on how to choose a better bird’s nest:

1. Thicker and wider bird’s nest shapes show that the nests are of better quality.

2. The bird’s nest should have a firm texture and have as little feathers possible.

3. There should be a very slight fishy smell to the bird’s nest, for the more nutritious ones.

There are many ways as to how to cook bird nest, with the double boiling method as the best way to release the essence of the delicacy into the soup. For those who cannot afford the time or just too lazy to do so, you can choose those bottled with rock sugar ones. How often to eat bird nest depends on individual’s needs and budget. For regular maintenance, one can choose to enjoy the tonic once a week.

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Alternatives to bird nest?


There are many who are allergic to bird’s nest and this medicinal tonic is quite costly to eat on a regular basis. Fret not! There are always other alternatives you can consider to supplement your health. For the purpose of skincare, you can choose supplements that contain the red clover extract, known for its natural potency of phytoestrogens to help balance ladies’ hormonal levels. With 10 times more isoflavones than soy, red clover promotes collagen synthesis and maintains our skin complexion. With that in mind, AL Beauty Radiance incorporates this amazing red clover herb into the formula, together with a blend of traditional herbs to sustain optimal health and ensure smooth skin. 

As for those looking for complementary medications to help with chronic respiratory problems, you may want to consider cordyceps which has a much stronger effect when it comes to nourishing and tonifying our lung and kidney meridian functions. At the same time, cordyceps have a variety of other medicinal benefits, including strengthening our body’s immune system. Read this article (insert link) to understand more about Cordyceps! All Link Essentials of Cordyceps is produced using only the finest quality cultivated Cordyceps mycelia. So those who wish to strengthen their lungs and kidney functions in addition to the use of bird’s nest, can definitely consider using top quality cordyceps from All Link Medical & Health Products Pte Ltd. 

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