11 ingredients you should eat during monsoons, according to Ayurveda

4 months ago 44
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Summer’s made way for monsoons. And just the way your tank tops will turn into cosy light knits, your kitchen and pantry need an ingredient upgrade too. Vogue spoke to Ayurveda experts Dr Swapna Kadam and Dr Pankaj Chansarkar from Vedary, a wellness centre in Mumbai, to suggest ingredients that are easily found in the Indian pantry and those that will help you beat seasonal ailments with small changes. 

1. Ginger

The wonder herb pacifies aggravated vata (air component) in the body, which may be a common concern during monsoons. It improves the body's digestion ability which in turn will keep you energetic. Besides, ginger improves assimilation and transportation of nutrients to the body's tissues, much needed to keep colds and flu away.

2. Garlic

Another super food from the Indian pantry. Garlic boosts metabolism and has antioxidant properties which help towards building your natural body’s immunity. The best way to consume it is to use it in everyday dals and curries. Use garlic to flavour sauces and warm soups.

3. Mint

While generally it is recommended to skip greens during monsoon, make mint an exception. Mint is a coolant, so try and use it in warming teas, in a warm salad, or in a room-temperature lemonade. It’s a natural decongestant, so will help battle colds and flu.

4. Moong beans

This ingredient is useful through the year. Especially in monsoon, you will benefit from its proteins, vitamin and mineral content which overall help boost immunity. It pacifies the air and fire element in your body and will help you achieve a balanced temperament. Best way to consume it during this season is in a moong-based soup or a pancake. Avoid raw moong beans.

5. Honey

Honey is a boon to those with weak digestion. It is an easily digestible carbohydrate that gives instant energy. In monsoon, a lot of people may have issues with their digestive system and honey helps combat that in a smooth way. Eat one teaspoon of honey with two teaspoons of lemon juice and one glass of lukewarm water on an empty stomach to extract its benefits.

6. Aged jowar

An easily digestible carbohydrate, jowar is high in fibre, iron and vitamin B3 which is an important element to keep metabolism active, keep immunity in check and our skin healthy. It is an intrinsic warming ingredient that is needed during these cooler months. Use it as rotis or to make porridge.

7. Bottle gourd

This is an indigenous Indian ingredient that is easy to assimilate. It is highly alkaline which is needed to keep your digestive system active. During monsoon, you will benefit greatly from having a strong stomach. So many ways to use gourd, you can turn it into poached koftas, add it in soups, grate it and use it in a paratha or eat it as a plain subji with chapattis.

8. Turmeric

No better immunity booster than this one. Turmeric is needed to protect you from sore throat, flu, cough and cold. Once in a while, gargle with turmeric and salt water too. The best way to use it is in a green tea or in everyday cooking.

9. Red rice

This variety of rice is better for your body that polished one. It is antioxidant rich, so it will keep your immunity in check. It is also a good source of B6 and iron which aid bone health, especially if you experience stiffness in muscles owing to a cool climate. Turn it into a rice porridge with some coconut milk and cinnamon.

10. Rock salt

Rock salt should be used in your cooking during monsoon season because it increases the pitta (fire) element of your body, which means it boosts digestion, usually low during monsoon season.

11. Bitter gourd

Now it may not have a great taste, but it sure has innumerable benefits. It is a rich source of Vitamin C which helps boost immunity and has strong antiviral properties for a health boost.

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