Eat Lauki, avoid Palak: Ayurveda expert on what to eat and avoid during monsoon | Health


Monsoon brings with it a flood of infections and if not careful, one’s health may take a beating. Digestive issues are common during this time as the weather is ideal for microbial growth. What you eat can play a major role in guarding you against infections. As per Ayurveda, your diet during this season needs to be planned carefully for optimal health. The food you eat must be light, fresh, easy to digest and home-cooked. One should try to avoid eating deep-fried snacks from roadside vendors as there is always a risk of waterborne infections. (Also read: Preventing Monsoon hair fall: 7 amazing foods to protect your tresses this monsoon)

Eating a balanced diet is recommended in monsoon but not all vegetables are suitable for Varsha Ritu and some can disrupt digestive fire or Agni.
Eating a balanced diet is recommended in monsoon but not all vegetables are suitable for Varsha Ritu and some can disrupt digestive fire or Agni.

Eating a balanced diet is recommended in monsoon but not all vegetables are suitable for Varsha Ritu and some can disrupt digestive fire or Agni. Vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower and spinach can play havoc with your digestive health and one must avoid them during rainy season. Lauki, Tori and other such light veggies must be consumed for effective digestion,

Some lifestyle changes can also be introduced to ensure your digestion is robust during this season. One must consume boiled and cooled water mixed with honey, eat freshly prepared home-made meals, add ginger to the diet, avoid raw salads, curds, and stale food. It is important to keep your surroundings clean and hygienic to prevent viral and bacterial diseases.

“There’s a beautiful symphony between our body and seasonal vegetables. Seasons do have a drastic impact on our body but if we tune our lifestyle to it, it will bring nothing but pure bliss,” says Dr. Nitika Kohli in her recent Instagram post where she also shares a list of vegetables to eat and avoid during monsoon or Varsha Ritu.

According to Dr Kohli certain vegetables can “mess up our digestive fire”.

Vegetables to avoid during monsoon

1. Bell Peppers (Shimla Mirch)

Bell peppers or Shimla Mirch is used in a wide variety of recipes from crispy starters, noodles to stir-fries and curries. However, the tasty veggie isn’t suitable for Varsha Ritu as per Dr Kohli as their raw and ‘sheetal’ (cooling) nature can disturb Agni (digestive fire), leading to Amlapitta (acidity) and aggravation of Vata & Pitta dosha. So, if you don’t want to face acidity, and bloating issues in monsoon, steer clear of this veggie.

2. Spinach (Palak)

Your palak paneer, spinach soup or spinach smoothie can wait for a while as the iron-rich vegetable must be avoided in rainy season as per the Ayurveda expert. Dr Kohli says spinach can put one at risk of gastrointestinal infections.

Avoid spinach during Varsha Ritu as it aggravates Vata & Pitta doshas and decreases Kapha dosha in the body. It can pose a risk to our health causing gastro-intenstinal infections and digestive issues, especially during Varsha Ritu

3. Cauliflower (Gobhi)

Aloo Gobhi, Gobhi parathe, Gobhi Pakode seems tempting when the weather is rainy and dreamy but as per Ayurveda, cauliflower is not recommended during Varsha Ritu as it can disrupt digestive fire. Its sheetal (cooling) and Drava (watery) nature can hinder the Jatharagni (digestive fire). It aggravates Vata dosha and decreases Kapha and Pitta doshas in the body.

4. Cabbage (Patta Gobhi)

From salads, stir-fries, noodles to many street foods, cabbage is a popular Indian vegetable and is added in a variety of recipes. However, you can give it a miss in monsoon as per Ayurveda. Its sheetal (cooling) and Guru (heavy) properties can impair Agni (digestive fire) during the rainy season.

5. Tomatoes (Tamatar)

Curries are incomplete without their tangy twist; so are salads and soups. But tomatoes can be given a skip this monsoon as they can cause acidity. Their hot and sour properties can cause Amlapitta (acidity) and aggravate Tridosha.

Vegetables to eat in monsoon season

Now that you know what to avoid during monsoon season, here’s a list of vegetables by Dr Kohli that you can add to your diet. The Ayurveda expert says eating these vegetables can help your digestion system and can prevent you from falling a prey to seasonal diseases.

1. Lauki (Bottle Gourd)

Lauki is sweet in nature as per Ayurveda and has cooling properties. From lauki stir-fry, lauki chana dal curry, lauki kofte to lauki raita, there are many delectable recipes you can prepare with bottle gourd. Lauki also works as an appetizer and increases strength (bala). The nutritious veggies help balance Pitta dosha and aids in digestion.

2. Tori (Ridge Gourd)

During monsoon season, vegetables that help boost immunity must be consumed regularly. Tori is anti-Kapha and anti-Pitta and is an appetiser. It also improves strength and induces digestion (deepana). Tori is also recommended for people with skin diseases, anaemia, inflammation, and also acts as a mild laxative.

3. Tinda (Indian Round Gourd)

Tinda is anti-Kapha and anti-Vata and is also considered light and easy to digest, making it ideal for this season. It also helps maintain hydration, promotes digestion, removes stiffness, and cures anorexia and inflammatory disorders.

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