You may be rejoicing after the onset of monsoon when rainy season comes as a great relief to the world suffering from excessive heat. Although showers of blessings from the clouds comes with lot of fun and excitement, along with it there are host of infections that are prevalent in the rainy season. The onset of rains is the perfect breeding ground for germs and water borne diseases. With the Ayurvedic tips explained in this article, which entails the food to eat, and important lifestyle changes to be made, you can enjoy the magic of monsoon and set out to explore nature in all its glory with controlled food and good health.
What should you eat when monsoon sets in?
- As your Agni (digestive fire) tends to be compromised in this season, enjoy more carminative and light to digest foods in this season.
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, which are thoroughly washed and cut.
- Eat vegetables that are light and easily digestible like pumpkin, zucchini, squash. Also include whole grains, yellow lentil (mungdaal), corn, chickpea flour, and oatmeal, which are good to eat and yet light on the stomach.
- Limit the consumption of dairy products like yoghurt, cheese, milk, etc. as they are hard to digest.
- Avoid fermented and sour foods such as tamarind, chutneys and pickles as they can lead to indigestion, hyperacidity and bloating.
- Avoid junk foods that are heavy and deep-fried. Street food from vendors should be forgotten as they can be overloaded with bacteria. It is good to enjoy home made food this season.
- Reduce consumption of raw salads.
- Your diet should include warm, unctuous diet (ghee and olive oil recommended). It is better to avoid dry foods like crackers.
- Avoid refrigerated water. Drink boiled and cooled water only to make it germ free.
- Include bitter food items like fenugreek, bitter gourd, turmeric, neem in your diet as they are natural anti-microbial and can prevent infections and keep you healthy.
- Include ginger in diet as it is a digestive and helps stimulate Agni (digestive fire).
- Drink few cups of warm herbal teas daily; preferably ginger tea or basil tea.
- Kichari is the best detox diet for the monsoon season.
Lifestyle amendments for the monsoon
- Do light exercise regularly. Instead of strenuous workouts and weights try yoga.
- As Agni (digestive fire) is already weak in this season, sleeping immediately after meals will hamper it more. So walk few steps after every meal to enhance digestion.
- Fumigation of the house with Guggulu (Commiphoramukul) or neem leaves in the evening will help to keep mosquitoes, insects and germs away.
Caring for your skin
According to Ayurveda, Dosha vitiation especially, Vatadosha in the monsoon can leave its manifestation in skin and feet too. So make sure you keep your skin cleansed and toned.
- It is good to replace soap with green gram powder for bathing. Also herbal Ubtan can be used as bath powder mixed with water. Also when cleansing the face, avoid alcohol-based skin cleansers. Instead, try washing your face with a mixture of green gram and chickpea powders, mixed in equal proportions, made into a paste form with water.
- Taking care of your feet is particularly necessary during monsoon. Keep them clean and dry, and moisturize regularly. Foot massages are said to be excellent for balancing Vata. You can massage your feet with sesame oil before going to bed. Also footbath is beneficial – soak your feet in warm water once a week, and scrub with pumice stone for exfoliation. To fight fungal infection of the feet, boil some Triphala(Three fruits – Haritaki, Bibitaki and Amalai) or Neem leaves in water. Once the water cools down to warm temperature, use it to wash your feet.
With these simple Ayurvedic tips and precautions, now you can enjoy the refreshing wetness of monsoon without ruining your health.
*Dr. Lakshmi Anoop, Ayurvedic Physician at Chakrapani Ayurveda Clinic and Research Center, Jaipur, India