Indian monsoon vegetables
Indian monsoon vegetables includes those vegetables that are traditionaly available between the months of mid June and mid September. Though, sceintific progress has made it possible to grow these vegetables all year through, they are at their nutritional best during the monsoon season. They also suit are constiution during those months. Monsoon foods are more on the sweeter and citric side packed with a lot of nutrients that provide the necessary comfort.
Why should I be aware of this?
Monsoon vegetables need not be coked with a lot of spices. In fact, these vegetables can be eaten raw against the common belief that they should be well cooked, as they bring out the actual taste.
Why buy seasonal?
This has the advantage of our bodies receiving the nutrients we need at a particular time, for none of us is truly aware of the subtle changes that take place within that necessitates an adjustment in our intake of food.
Fruits and vegetables will not only be cheaper but also at their flavour and nutritional peaks. The larger benefit of buying seasonal is the good it does the environment.
Why steer clear of non-seasonal fruits and veggies?
They lose their nutritional value due to preservatives like di-phosphides, sulphides and formic acids.
The consumption of chemically treated off season fruits and vegetables primarily affects children. They also contain chemical colours that can affect the stomach, kidney and liver. Buying non-seasonal also means a hit on your pocket.
All about monsoon vegetables
Some of the season vegetables found in monsoons include Brinjal, bottle gourd and risge gourd.
- Bottle gourd
- The cooked vegetable is cooling, diuretic, sedative and anti bilious. It gives a feeling of relaxation after eating it. However, bottle gourd should not be eaten in a raw state as it may prove harmful for stomach and intestines.
- It is good for people suffering fro blood pressure.
- Ridge gourd
- Ridge gourd is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, high in dietary fibre, vitamin C, riboflavin, zinc, thiamin, iron, magnesium and manganese.
- The nutritional value of gourd makes it suitable for maintaining optimum health, weight lose.
- It has excellent cooling properties.
Herbs for rainy seasons
The high humidity during the monsoon (rainy season) isver cpnducive to infectious bacteria and viruses that could result in fevers, throat infections, skin infections etc. But there are some herbs and spices easily available in the kitchen to help prevent infections in the body
- Indian Lilac (Neem) -- The neem tree decreases the presence of malaria and cholera infections in the immediate vicinity.
- In malaria, an infusion of neem leaves in water taken daily cures the fever rapidly due to the action (on the infection) in the liver.
- The leaves applied externally are very beneficial for (infective) skin problems.
- For many tooth and gum infections, gargling and rinsing the mouth with neem water will greatly improve the oral condition.
- Basil (Tulsi): The basil plant leaves are like an antidote for many fevers which occur in the rainy season.
- Tulsi leaves decoction prepared along with powdered cardamom (elaichi) is helpful in bringing down the fever.
- Sore throat can be prevented by gargling with tulsi leaves water. **Tulsi water comes in handy for respiratory problems.
- Kidney stones (small) can be treated with regular consumption of tulsi.
- It is also good to reduce blood cholesterol.
- A decoction of the leaves given in gout (high uric acid) can yield good results. Besides, it is also beneficial dental problems and worms in the stomach (specially children).
- Bitter Gourd (Karela): The bitter gourd or karela has excellent medicinal properties and is used as a medicine for diabetes (with good results).
- Bitter gourd is also called plant insulin as it normalizes the sugar levels. One must take 2-3 karela and juice them and mix it with water and this should be taken twice a day.
- It is also rich in vitamin A, vitamin B and vitamin C.
- Karela juice is also effective in piles.
- In the monsoons, karela juice is very good for preventing/treating boils, itching, ringworm, fungal diseases. It is beneficial for liver disorders (specially induced by alcohol). People with respiratory troubles can also benefit from this vegetable.
- Turmeric (Haldi): Turmeric is a very good antiseptic as it can act both internally (used for worm infestations) and externally for skin infections. For many years, the only antiseptic available in rural India was haldi, so it used for a variety of reasons like: