The first showers of rain, the distinct fragrance in the air, the lush green grass and trees…. who doesn’t like all of this! oh well, maybe a rare few !!
Hey everyone! Thank you all, for yet again finding your way to this blog. Here I am, back again with yet another interesting post. I hope, the title has given you a fair idea as to what is going to follow in the post. We are well into the monsoon and hence into various rainy-season related diseases. While it is very much a part of our nature to enjoy the particular weather traits, it is equally important that we take good care of our health as well. As it would only help us more to enjoy to our heart’s content; without giving a break by reason of sickness!
As many of you know, Ayurveda is called science of life. It greatly believes in prevention and precaution, more than cures. Following this principle , the great Acharyas or practitioners of Ayurveda have written down a well versed discipline for each season, which they strongly recommend to be followed in each particular season. It is proven that following these ancient texts can actually help you to keep several seasonal diseases at bay. So , let us begin!
Most of us are aware of the basic principles of Ayurveda, like the tridoshas( three humours- vata, pitta and kapha), Prakriti ( body type) etc. Our body is affected by different doshas in different stages of our life. Likewise, these doshas have an influence over the seasons too! And each season is dominated by one particular dosha. So naturally enough, our seasonal routine ( or shall I say discipline?) as well as our daily routine should be in accordance with these season specific doshas, so that the body behaves as naturally as it should and adjusts easily to the seasonal changes . Else, it is forced to adapt to the new season, resulting in low immunity and a host of diseases.
Rainy season as such, is related to aggravation of vata and accumulation of pitta. So the diet and lifestyle has to be the one which balances both of these doshas.
The discipline ( or what we call Ritucharya in Ayurveda) for the rainy season , as written in ancient texts goes as follows –
Rainy season falls in the northern solstice( Uttarayana) and the general body strength of a person during this season is weak. The chances of getting digestive problems is great in this season. You are likely to experience a loss of appetite too. Keeping this in mind it is advisable to make some changes in your diet.
- Consume light and fresh foods, especially prepared from barley, rice and wheat.
- Include cow ghee, lentils, green gram, rice and wheat in daily diet.
- If having meat, have lean meat.
- A small piece of ginger mixed with rock salt taken before every meal will greatly help in improving digestion.
- Consume sour and salted soups of vegetables.
- On cooler days, take a diet that is sour, salty and oily( how many of you thought of pakoras aka fritters 🙂 Ohh and I forgot to mention tea to go with it :-)) ). This is the time in India to make yummy pickles-sour, salty and oily, and rightly so:-) .
- Drink boiled and cooled water mixed with a little honey- a great immunity booster.
- Green gram and ginger is to be used in daily diet.
- Avoid consuming stale food.
- Avoid foods that take longer to digest-like red meat and curds, choose buttermilk over curds.
- Consuming haritaki ( terminalia chebula) with rock salt in monsoon is very beneficial for health.
Now lets move to what behavioural discipline has been mentioned in Ayurveda texts.
LIFESTYLE in rainy season –
Taking healthy diet alone may not help in getting the desired good effects, unless it is supplemented by a healthy lifestyle. U have to make at least some of the following important changes in your lifestyle in rainy season.
- Sleeping in the daytime has to be avoided as it affects the digestive system and slows down the metabolism.
- Over exertion is to be avoided and so is over exposure to sun (oh well, if and when mr. sun shows up 🙂 ).
- Try to keep the body warm, as cool body temperature is what is needed for the viruses to attack….seems our grannies weren’t wrong after all, when they said we ought to wear warm clothes in this weather too…especially kids :-).
- Keep your feet dry, especially diabetics!
- It would be good if you could burn some neem leaves at home and fumigate the house with that from time to time…wards of unwelcome pests!
Make sure to advocate these diet and lifestyle changes slowly, as any abrupt change in the routine can shock your body.
Oh, and by the way, there had been requests from a few of you about posting some such recipes which are easy to make and weather friendly and also which suit particular body types, according to Ayurveda. So, I had made an attempt in this post by listing two very easy to make recipes, which can be included in your diet this monsoon. These recipes are designed in accordance with the diet guidelines mentioned in the Ayurvedic texts. Now you can have a yummy dish with the benefits of Ayurveda diet too !
- diced carrots- 1 cup
- fresh or frozen green peas- 1 cup
- diced potatoes – 1 cup
- 1 tbsp ghee or sunflower oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- a pinch of hing
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- fresh coriander for garnishing
Method of prep – Heat oil or ghee in a heavy skillet. Add mustard and cumin seeds. When they crackle add hing and turmeric. Add all the veggies one by one and stir a bit. Add coriander powder and stir once again for a minute. Add salt and a cup of water and let the veggies simmer and cook till done. Once done, mash some of the potato pieces to give the curry a thickness. Adjust the consistency by adding more water if desired. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or chapati.
- 1 cup peas
- 1 cup fresh corn
- one very small onion chopped
- some coriander for garnishing
- 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
- 1/2 tsp salt or according to taste
- water to boil veggies
- a small blob of butter (optional)
Method of prep– Heat water in a heavy bottom pan and add all the veggies. Let the veggies cook properly till tender. Once the veggies are done, add salt and pepper. Blend into a paste in a blender jar. Your easy and yummy soup is ready. Serve hot with some fresh coriander chopped and sprinkled on top. Can add a small blob of butter on top if desired.
So while you enjoy these two delicious, easy to make and weather – friendly recipes, I say bbye with a promise to bring another interesting topic in my next post and if you wish to have more of such recipes, please do write in the comments section below and I will surely try to upload as many recipes as I can.
Enjoy the monsoons while they are here, both in and out of the house! Be seeing you soon, here’s Dr Apoorva, signing out for today.