Who doesn’t love the rains? Eating pakoras with cutting chai, and sitting in the balcony has been romanticised enough, already. Another favourite ritual is just ordering in food.
Many people list eating chaat as a favourite pastime when there is rain for company. Others say that vada pav never tastes better than when it rains.
But it’s not as straight jacket as that. With monsoons come multiple problems: temperature change, risk of water contamination, which can triggers viral infections and several water-borne diseases.
In fact, in this season one must be extra careful about what to plate. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun when it is pouring. You definitely can, but by sticking to careful eating and drinking rules.
Take one cup sprouts (I like them raw, you can steam them if you wish), 5-6 cherry tomatoes, and a hardboiled egg; combine and dust with salt and pepper.
Also instead of the usual suspects are namkeens, pop corns, chips, stick to crunchy, delicious makhanas as they can help circumvent those damaging foods.
Take roasted makhana, add chopped onions, cucumber, tomatoes, black salt and add a generous squeeze of lemon. Mix them together.
Keep It Warm
Eat cooked food as far as possible. This also helps to keep your body warm during monsoon.
Try ginger and lemon tea or green tea, or a cup of hot cocoa. And yes, that kadak chai is a good idea as the cardamom and cinnamon used in preparing masala tea will keep throat infections and cold at bay.
You can stick to black tea (contains amino acid, L-theanine, and a phytochemical, catechin) to keep your body fighting fit. Stick to 2-3 cups maximum in a day.
It is very easy to forget to have water during the rainy season, so the first rule is to remember to have enough (eight glasses a day) water.
Also consume natural diuretics like jasmine tea, barley water and barley sattu, and eat a lot of water logged foods like water vegetables (bottle guard, narwal etc) and fruits like melons. Definitely avoid dehydrating drinks like caffeine rich colas and energy drinks.
Lightly squeeze the lemon juice into the mug of boiled water and then pop the wedge, skin and all, into the mug. Enjoy it warm. For added benefits add several slices of ginger root too. Add honey too if you prefer it sweet.
Mix two boiled corn of the cob, one chopped onion, two diced peppers, one cup of cherry tomatoes, ½ cup diced raw mango. Sprinkle some mint and coriander leaves and toss in a mix of one tablespoon lime juice and one table spoon extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
10 Tips to Follow
1. Add a little bit of garlic to your soups, stir fries and curries.
2. Consume a lot of easily digestible vegetables like bitter gourd, and snake gourd.
3. Avoid pre-cut fruits or vegetables that have been kept in the open.
4. Be particularly careful about leafy vegetables like cabbage, spin-ach, fenugreek (methi) etc as presence of mud, dirt and worms sky-rockets these days. Wash really well before consuming.
5. Include digestive ajwain, saunf and cumin seeds (jeera) in the diet.
6. Use turmeric liberally. Have haldi doodh (warm milk + turmeric) at night.
7. And add mint or ginger or dry ginger powder to tea and hot milk.
8. Consume bitter herbs like neem (basil) and methi (fenugreek) seeds.
9. Spicy food promotes water retention and bloating, so go easy and opt for low salt food too.
10. Use peppercorns liberally as they stimulate the taste buds and in-creases hydrochloric acid secretion which helps to digest food bet-ter.
(Kavita Devgan is a nutritionist, weight management consultant, and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of The Don't Diet Plan: A no-nonsense guide to weight loss, Fix it with Food, Ultimate Grandmother Hacks, and The Immunity Diet and 500 Recipes: Simple Tricks for Stress Free Cooking.)