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What to Eat During Monsoons

What to Eat During Monsoons

We need to be very careful about the food we eat and the water we drink during monsoon as 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 monsoons. So, the question that arises is what to eat during monsoons?

The rains will tempt you to gorge on bhajiyas, sweets, and large helpings of steamy hot food at mealtimes. But temper that hearty appetite with a dose of caution – the monsoon is the time when diseases, particularly of the digestive system, are rampant. Poor digestion leads to a form of ‘cellular starvation’, which in turn lowers your metabolism and increases fat storage.

Monsoon reduces the immunity of our body and makes us susceptible to many diseases which are commonly associated with this season. Hence, it is time for us to keep our body resistant against diseases by boosting our immunity and taking precautions against these diseases. But, in today’s lifestyle, one finds it very difficult to take out time to cook a wholesome meal. This is especially true in the case of office goers.

What to eat during monsoons

The most important thing that the entire office-going community must realise is the need for carrying food from home. Roadside food like chaats, fast foods, sandwiches, fruit juices may tempt one at lunch or snack time, but it is ideal that we refrain from eating any of these in monsoon. Avoid juices, buttermilk, lemon juice, golas and kulfis from street vendors.

Read more: Monsoon Facts

These food stalls are the biggest sources of infections and diseases due to their unhygienic practices of food preparation. Office goers should preferably carry their food from home or choose to eat cooked food in the restaurant which practices good hygiene. Below is the list of what to eat during monsoons and what to avoid:

  • Avoid eating a lot of raw foods during this season, like raw vegetable salads. Instead one can carry stir-fried veggies or the normal sabzi preparations that are usually an integral part of an Indian diet.
  • Fruits can be eaten liberally during monsoon, but only after washing them thoroughly in running water. Washing all fruits and vegetables, mainly green leafy vegetables, is important during this time. U may soak the leafy greens in a vinegar solution (30 ml vinegar in ½ litre water for 10 minutes and then wash it with plain water. Vinegar kills 99% of the bacteria & is an effective and readily available cleansing agent. Eat whole, washed and peeled fruits rather than fruit juices (if you have a weight problem)
  • Well-cooked sprouts, pulses, and dals can be carried for lunch.
  • Avoid raw seafood, shellfish or any kind of raw meat preparations.

Read more: Healthy Recipes for Monsoons

  • If you must eat out choose steamed foods like idlis, steamed rice and dal with vegetables (request for less oil and masala), hot soups, etc.
  • Non-vegetarians should go in for lighter meat preparations like soups and stews rather than heavy curries.
  • Drink warm beverages; add mint or ginger or dry ginger powder to tea.
  • Include naturally sour food (not fermented) like tamarind, tomato, lime, and kokum in your diet — in soups, dals, and vegetables.
  • Moong dal is easy to digest, especially watery dal.
  • Garlic, pepper, ginger, asafoetida, sonth, turmeric, coriander, and jeera enhance your body’s digestive power and improve immunity.
  • Eat moderate quantities of food as the body finds it harder to digest food during the monsoon.
  • Overall, astringent, mildly bitter and mildly pungent foods work best in the monsoon
  • Drink only boiled and filtered water

Diet for Working Professionals

Working professionals are so caught up between their work and the household that it gives them little time for themselves. In this state, diet becomes the most easily ignored part of their schedule. Managing a healthy diet is quite a task for the working professionals, but one cannot ignore the range of positive outcomes it brings along with it. One usually sees a lot of staff falling ill around monsoon time, leading to absenteeism and a loss in terms of productivity, manpower, and efficiency in achieving targets. Little extra caution in terms of food choices is important if you value your health and want to avoid falling sick.

Today we have more knowledge of health than ever before, yet we continue to suffer from serious diseases. A monsoon diet mainly involves eating safely. Eat a balanced meal and try to carry wholesome foods with you for the day. Discard rotten, smelling, decayed foods immediately. Wash your hands at all times before eating and handling food in any form. Hygiene and sanitation at every step will help combat all food and water-borne diseases in monsoon.

(As published in Hindustan Times dated July 08 2019)

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