By Khushboo Motihar Last Updated:
The rains are here, and along with them, they have brought innumerable smiles, romance and loads of diseases! Yes, it is that time of the year when your nose will get blocked every second day, you will sneeze incessantly, may have an upset stomach, might have certain skin allergies or even come face to face with some water-borne infections.
We don’t wish to scare you off this beautiful weather, but we just want you to be a little cautious and stay healthy. And, to ensure that you do not face any maladies this monsoon, we bring you a comprehensive monsoon diet that you must follow.
During monsoons, many health and fitness experts have observed that your immunity decreases, which affect digestion. That is why; you must add fenugreek (meethi) seeds, cumin (jeera) seeds, mint and basil (tulsi) to the food that you consume daily, as they will help to improve your digestion.
You should definitely include garlic, heeng, pepper, ginger and turmeric in your food to get strength, and to aid your digestive system. Garlic and turmeric are best spices to indulge in as they are rich in many healthy antioxidants. You should also consume less salt as it promotes water retention and bloats your body.
Medical practitioner Veena Sehgal, recommends:
“People who face, skin allergies during monsoon should not eat spicy food because spicy food stimulates the circulation and raises body temperature, which leads to skin irritation, allergies and diseases.”
When it comes to vegetables, during monsoons, Priti Seth, nutritionist and the owner of Pachouli Spa, New Delhi, says:
“It is good to have leafy vegetables all around the year except during the monsoon. The reason being, when these veggies are plucked from their roots, the wet mud and dirt gets tagged along too. And if these veggies are not washed carefully they can give you allergies or even an upset stomach. Generally opt for pumpkins, tomatoes, cabbage, ladies finger and more, as they do not have stem or root.”
So, during monsoons, wash your vegetables a few times before cooking. It is best to soak them in salted water for 7-10 minutes, before washing them under running water. Karela, parwal, tinda, touri and kaddu, cluster beans (gavaar), etc. are vegetables that should definitely be a part of your monsoon diet. They are a rich source of calcium, magnesium and manganese.
The washing bit goes for the fruits as well. When it comes to fruits, Priti Seth, says:
“Among fruits, stick to pomegranates, mangoes, bananas, apples, litchees and cherries. Fruits are the ideal food as they restore energy. But avoid watermelons and muskmelons and opt for apples, pomegranates and pears.”
Avoid fish during monsoons as it may contain a lot of impurities. If you choose to eat fish, clean it thoroughly before you eat. When it comes to other meat products, avoid eating tandoori or thick curry preparations. Opt for salads, stews and simple soups.
Moong dal (green) and masoor dal should definitely be a part of your diet as they are a rich source of protein. They also contain dietary fibre that assists digestion. If you get bored of eating dal daily, you should definitely make yourself a bowl of soup. Come up with interesting combinations of vegetables and meat that will not only soothe your taste buds, but will also keep you healthy. Go easy on the cream and croutons though to ensure that you don’t pile on unnecessary calories.
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Instead of eating rice, which is heavy for your body, opt for multigrain rotis and paranthaas. During monsoons, the body finds it difficult to digest food. That is why; barley, jowar and nachini rotis, which are rich in calcium should be a part of your diet. Apart from this, instead of white rice, go for the brown ones. Also, avoid refined and processed flours like maida and suji.
During monsoons, mustard and sesame oil should be avoided as they are very heavy. Opt for olive oil, corn oil or other light oils.
There is a high chance for dairy products to get infected by germs during this season, so keep your dairy intake minimal. This goes out, especially for the milk intake. Instead of milk, go for yoghurt and curd.
You should also sip on ginger tea, green tea or lemon tea, instead of normal tea and coffee that will dehydrate your skin. These herbal teas will not only keep your immunity system healthy, but also keep your skin refreshed and glowing.
Street foods and fried and oily items should be a strict no-no during the rainy season. So, avoid all those greasy, oily and tempting foods like samosa, tikki, chaat, bhel, chips and namkeen. As your digestive system is already weaker during the monsoons, such heavy foods might lead to upset stomach. It is best to go for steamed and boiled dishes.
And, most importantly, drink a lot of water to get rid of toxins and to keep your skin and body healthy. Keep this diet chart in mind, and share it with others, to stay hale and hearty during the monsoons!
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