The monsoon season, along with the rains, brings with it problems of indigestion and reduced immunity of the body. The immunity of the body is as it is constantly being challenged by the microbes throughout our lives but these microbes become hyperactive during the rainy season.
This is because the dampness in the air is very conducive for the growth of these microbes and they multiply exponentially to present a serious challenge to our gut. The more the moisture in the atmosphere, more is the progression of these microbes and in turn, the body has to work harder and more effectively to override them.
Fighting with the microbes entails producing antibodies, a process that requires suitable nutrition in this season to boost the production of these antibodies, to fortify our immune system and keep the body healthy.
During Rainy season the body feels “tamsic”(inert) and lacks verve to carry out our daily routine and our digestive capabilities are compromised. So it becomes essential to provide it with extra nutritional support in the form of wholesome diet.
Cautions to be observed
Green leafy vegetables are an excellent source of nutrition for the body and must be consumed daily. However, in this season we need to be careful and eat them in such a way that it is not counterproductive and ends up harming our body.
- Raw and uncooked greens should be completely avoided during this time. By eating them in raw form, we are just inviting the microbes to attack our gut and destroy our digestion. So eating them in a salad or in juice form should be completely avoided in this season.
- How to clean the vegetables: Ideally, each and every single leaf of the vegetable should be washed off and cleaned separately.
- However, none of these vegetables should be stored for more than a few hours.
- The fact is that wherever the rays of the sun fall, that part of the vegetable will be dry and the microbes will be killed by the sunlight. However, in vegetables like lettuce, where the sun is not able to permeate completely, the microbes remain hidden in the inner leaves.
- So it becomes essential to soak them in water or in a vinegar solution for some time and then pat they dry completely.
- One can also just blanch these leaves in a solution of boiling water and vinegar.
The fiber in the leaves:
The most nutritional part of these green vegetables is its fiber. There are two types of fibers: soluble and insoluble fiber in the vegetables. Vegetables like smooth gourd have soluble fiber which is easier to digest but vegetables like turnip have insoluble fiber. Thus the body will require more energy to absorb and digest it.
This can sometimes lead to flatulence and other stomach related ailments. So it is essential that all such kinds of vegetables be eaten in the afternoon itself so that the body has plenty of time to slowly digest it.
The need is to convert the insoluble fiber into a soluble one by cooking but still being able to preserve its nutrition. Hence a soup is much easier to digest for the gut than a salad of the same green vegetable.
The trick here is to understand and implement such things that breaks down the insoluble fiber without losing its nutritive value in the process. The wisdom of our traditional recipes are a proof that all these things were known to our ancestors and we can turn to these for guidance. Many traditional Indian recipes first break down the fiber, cook it and then prepare the final dish.
This was done to enhance the taste of the dish along with ensuring that the body could easily digest it.
The trick is to cook it in such a manner that it loses its rawness, while still keeping all the nutrition intact.
- In the monsoons, mustard oil is the best medium to cook all kinds of food. The only precaution one needs to take is to make sure that the oil is completely smoked out before using it for any kind of dish. For this, one can add a pinch of salt and smoke it and then add any vegetable to it.
- One can also add natural spices like Heeng and garlic or ginger which aid in the process of digestion and prevent flatulence.
- We can always add a root vegetable like potato to a green vegetable like methi to average out the process of digestion by adding an easier element to digest along with a tough one.
- Use of natural spices like red chillies enhances the flavor of any dish but it should always be done prudently keeping in mind its sharpness.