MONSOON DIET: WHAT TO EAT & WHAT NOT TO EAT
“The closer we are to nature, the better off we’ll be.” – Ralph Smart
There is a time for everything, and the best time to experience the magic of foods is during their specific seasons. Savouring what the season has to offer is the ideal way to enjoy the wholesomeness and nutritional value of food. A lifestyle that changes with the seasons also offers a relishing variety in food throughout the year. Seasonal eating not only ensures your body gets the nourishment it requires but also brings you closer to the natural cycle.
So, what is clean eating?
As monsoons set in India, the climate has turned cool and cosy from hot and humid. While it offers a hiatus from the heat, it comes with its fair share of health problems– food poisoning, allergies, dengue, malaria, gastrointestinal disorders, etc. Eating clean and nourishing meals then becomes even more important to keep health risks at bay.
If you are one of those people whose primary concern is “What should I eat?”, we have a simple answer for you.
Clean and nutritious food is the first step to staying healthy and having a happy stomach. Maintaining a healthy diet incorporating veggies and fruits may seem like a task initially. But this is linked to a longer, healthier life with improved mood and a clear boost in immunity.
Many people misconceive healthy eating to be about trendy food habits like quinoa or ketogenic diets, but deciding what to eat and what not to eat is simpler than that. Sticking to quality unprocessed local foods, sans anything artificial, can aid your shift to a healthy lifestyle. Clean eating through fresh, local, and seasonal foods is a way of life that allows you to take control of your body and eventually avoid health risks.
What not to eat during monsoons
Keeping a sharp eye on what you consume is essential to avoid the myriad health issues that crop up during monsoons. Here is a guide to help you understand what not to eat during the rains.
● Stay away from the streets
While the first drop of rain may tempt you to enjoy a plate of chaat outside, these foods are absolutely a no-no for the season. Monsoons bring with them food- and water-borne diseases like diarrhoea and food poisoning, along with the rapid growth of bacteria that lurk on the countertops and utensils of street food vendors. So, a safe health practice is to avoid street food in the monsoon.
Avoid eating pre-cut fruits or vegetables outside too, as they may not be fresh. Along with constant exposure to mosquitoes and insects, they are most likely contaminated with unknown pathogens.
● Say no to the sea
The monsoon is considered the breeding period for sea creatures, including fish that are susceptible to all kinds of infections. As they possess eggs within them, indulging in seafood can likely cause severe stomach infections and food poisoning.
● Keep the fried aside
Though hot samosas and jalebis with a warm cuppa may seem like the cherry on the cake during a rainy evening, it is best if you skip it. They can take a massive toll on your gastrointestinal system and easily cause an upset stomach or bloating. Also, avoid reusing the oil used for frying to keep stomach infections and complications at bay.
● Leave the leaves
Usually recommended as part of a healthy diet, leafy vegetables are surprisingly risky in the monsoon due to the dirt and dampness present on them. Cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage tend to house insects that breed during monsoon, which is why you need to be extremely cautious before consuming them. Always wash leafy greens thoroughly with lukewarm water before cooking them in this season.
What to eat during the monsoon?
Having a strong immune system with a balanced diet is the best way to take care of your body. Now that we learned what not to eat, read on to know about what should then be a part of your monsoon diet to stay fit throughout this wonderful season.
● Spice it up
Adding hints of certain spices like turmeric, fresh ginger, and garlic to your monsoon foods can instantly enhance your monsoon diet game. These three foods consist of anti-bacterial and immunity-boosting properties. Known for their anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits, ginger and turmeric are also great for colds and coughs which are very common during a sudden change in weather.
● Stay hydrated
Drink only purified or boiled water in monsoons as tap water is highly prone to contamination and germs. It is the easiest way to keep yourself healthy.
From herbal teas and kadhas to soups and broths, this time of the year is perfect for warm and soothing beverages. Try to stick to light meat preparations like stews which will not make you feel bloated.
Adding ingredients like pepper, honey, and mint to your drinks can benefit digestion, as they are great antioxidants and immunity boosters.
● Eat fresh
Add bitter vegetables like bitter gourd and herbs like neem and fenugreek leaves to your monsoon diet to prevent infections. Seasonal fruits (cherries, jamun, peaches, and lychees) are also a good source of antioxidants and can potentially enhance your body’s digestion.
Eating fresh is the best way to consume food, be it any season. However, in the monsoon, stay away particularly from stale packaged food or food straight out of the fridge as it can harm your digestive system.
● Probiotics and fermented foods
Curd, buttermilk, and pickled vegetables in your diet will greatly boost your gut health. The good bacteria in these foods keep your gut clean while fighting off disease-causing stomach bacteria that thrive in the body during this period.
These are the tips to follow for a peaceful, healthy monsoon season. However, good health is for all seasons. If you wish to learn more about holistic wellness and nutrition, check out Wellness Forever to gain more insights on such subjects.
No matter what your ultimate goal is, eating clean, seasonal, and healthy is the best way to revolutionize your diet game. At the end of the day, what is a balanced diet? It is all these factors followed consistently in a way that is sustainable to be continued throughout your life.