monsoon food

Moonsoon is a relief from the scorching summer sun. But with all the fun, comes a palate full of diseases that only come around only during the monsoon. We have your basic monsoon queries cleared in this week’s column.

Q1. Is there a list of nutrition-related do’s and don’ts that we must follow during the monsoons at home?

Yes, most definitely. We need to be very careful about the food we eat and the water we drink during monsoon. During monsoons, our digestion gets weakened and the dosha, which is most likely to go out of balance is Vaata. Vaata aggravation leads to gas formation and indigestion, which most of us unknowingly experience during monsoon. Hence, following these few dos and don’ts will help us enjoy the rains without worrying about diseases.

  • Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly, particularly leafy ones and cauliflower, which not only contain larvae and worms but also collect dirt from the streets.
  • Eat moderate quantities of food as the body finds it harder to digest food during the monsoon.
  • Drink warm beverages; add mint or ginger or dry ginger powder to tea.
  • Moong dal is easy to digest and should be the dal of choice for the season.
  • Garlic, pepper, ginger, asafoetida, sonth, turmeric, coriander, and jeera enhance your body’s digestive power and improve immunity.
  • Non-vegetarians should go in for lighter meat preparations like soups and stews rather than heavy curries
  • Avoid eating food straight out of the fridge. Fresh foods are the best, but if you like to store cooked food in the fridge, heat it gradually and thoroughly before eating
  • It is a known fact that we need to drink only boiled and filtered water but care should be taken that the water is consumed within 24hours of boiling.

Q2. What kinds of fruits and vegetables would you prescribe?

The cardinal rule about eating during the monsoon is that you should never eat when you are not hungry. You can eat something in the winter just because you find it appetizing. Doing this in the monsoon is an invitation to indigestion and accompanying illnesses.

  • Vegetables recommended during the rains are the non-leafy ones such as-: turi, dudhi, parwal, suran, gavaar, tinda, and karela.
  • It is better to stick to seasonal fruits because non-seasonal ones tend to get infested with worms during monsoons. Pomegranates, mangos, bananas, apples, leeches, and cherries are ideal for the monsoon

Q3. How can I protect myself from monsoon-related ailments like malaria and jaundice?

During monsoon, malaria and jaundice are common due to stagnant water and contaminant food. Use mosquito repellants, creams, and nets, if you stay in mosquito prone sites or places with stagnant water. Wash vegetables with clean water and steam them well to kill germs. Avoid eating uncooked food and salads unless it is organic and clean well. Do not allow kids to play in stagnant polluted water filled puddles. Dry your feet and webs with a soft dry cloth whenever they are wet. If you are prone to mucus and cold try freshly prepared radish juice. It is the best remedy for cold. A pinch each of pipli (available at most ayurvedic shops) and rock salt mixed in warm water reduces mucus formation.

Q4. What foods should I be wary of if I am eating outside, in restaurants?

  • Avoid eating chaats, pakoras, snacks, cut fruits and juices from roadside vendors. If you are eating out, make sure the place you have chosen conforms to some basic standards of quality and hygiene or you can acquire serious infections like viral fever, diarrhea, and other water-borne diseases.
  • Raw vegetables are to be avoided during monsoon as the uncooked foods can contain various disease agents.
  • Avoid fried food and large meals, purely because they bring about indigestion.

A few precautions coupled with care really help you to enjoy monsoon. Have a healthy and safe monsoon.

(As published in Hindustan Times dated July 15, 2019)

December 7, 2019

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