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Sep 11, 2010

Diet for Rainy Season (Monsoon)


       Showers of monsoon are heartily welcomed by everyone after experiencing the scorching heat of summer. But monsoons reduce the immunity of our body and make us susceptible to many diseases which are commonly associated with this season. It is time for us to keep our body resistant against diseases by boosting our immunity and taking precautions against these diseases.

According to Ayurveda, monsoon is the time when the humidity levels in the atmosphere are high. Add in the warm temperature and the result is that the body's digestive capability goes down. In fact this is the time when the digestion is at its lowest, when people eat some incorrect foods during this time the result is illness! So here are some food hygiene precautions and diet modification which are a must:

  • Avoid heavy, salty food as it promotes water retention and bloating. It is better to have medium to low salt food. There are many preparations available which have a potassium salt too (regular salt has a high level of sodium which is responsible for high blood pressure and water retention).
  • Start body massages once a week with a light oil like olive oil. Massages promote the lymph channels movement which not only aids to decrease the bloating but also assists weight loss by improving the bile flow.
  • Eat light foods like vegetables, fruits, cereals etc and avoid too much of meat or fish. One can also enjoy grilled, tandoori foods which need minimum oil/butter.
  • Avoid fried foods as they decrease the digestive efficiency.
  • Do not indulge in heavy exercises, instead walking along with yoga or stretching is better as heavy exercises cause an increase in body temperature which leads to headaches, body aches etc.  
  • Eat foods which are drying in nature, the most popular being makka (corn), chana (chickpea), besan (gram flour), jow (oats). Eating watery foods like rice, lassi, watermelon, muskmelon creates swelling in the body.
  • Avoid heavy oils like mustard oil, peanut oil, sesame oil. Besides increasing the pitta, it also provides moisture and oiliness to the system which invites infection. Consume drying oils like corn oil, or light oils like olive oils.
  • Maintain the general hygiene while eating out and definitely avoid roadside vendors as very few people have the high immunity to handle the bacterial overload at such places.
  • Avoid salads or choose warm/steamed salads as there are many infectious organisms in this season.
  • Avoid foods which are very sour like tamarind (imli), chutneys and pickles as they promote water retention.
  • Avoid consuming dairy foods like paneer, raita etc outside at a street vendor.
  • Wash all green vegetables thoroughly as a lot of worms and insects are hidden in the leafy vegetables.
  • Consume a lot of bitter vegetables like karela (bitter gourd) and bitter herbs like neem (basil), methi (fenugreek) seeds, haldi (turmeric) as it prevents infection.
  • And of course enjoy the tea and pakoras on a wonderful rainy day, but make sure that rest of the diet is health friendly!

Follow these guidelines to remain safe and healthy during monsoons!



Remember, prevention is better than cure.



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