While rain does bring relief to the parched earth and is of great importance to maintain the groundwater table levels, the season also brings many diseases and illnesses. It is of utmost importance that one takes care of one’s health during the rainy season with special care given to the kind of diet intake.
Ayurveda is the traditional Hindu system of medicine. As per Hindu mythology, it was incorporated in Atharva Veda, the last of the four Vedas, by Brahma, the Creator of the Universe. Thousands of years old, Ayurveda is symbolic of knowledge of life for holistic healing and plays a vital role in wellness in today’s world.
Ayurveda has divided the seasons into Sharad Ritu (Autumn), Varsha Ritu (Monsoon), Greeshma Ritu (Summer), Vasant Ritu (Spring), Hemant Ritu (Early Winter), and Shishir Ritu (Late Winter), and each season comes along with a specific dietary plan so as to maintain a balance of the Vata, Pitta and Kapha, the elements including Air, Fire and Earth that are a part of our being. When not in a balanced state, these very elements become Doshas and affect the wellbeing of an individual.
Ayurveda and Rainy Season
According to Ayurveda, during monsoon, Vata is aggravated, Pitta is accumulated, and Kapha is pacified or controlled. During the rainy season, according to Ayurveda, an increase in the levels of humidity leads to fermentation and results in conversion of ingested food into sour components, increasing acidity.
Vata is considered the leader of the three Ayurvedic Principles that include Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Vata governs all movement in the mind and body including blood flow, elimination of wastes, breathing and the movement of thoughts across the mind. During the rainy season Vata gets affected and results in :
- Low digestion power
- Low immunity
- Low body strength
There is also a mild increase in the level of Pitta during the Rainy Season. Pitta is a toxic material in the form of heavy, sticky, undigested residue that can weaken digestion and disturb proper tissue formation. Increase in Pitta results in the following:
- Uncomfortable feeling of heat in the body
- Acid reflux
- Gastric or peptic ulcers
Stay Healthy This Monsoon
Here are a few tips on how to stay absolutely fit and fine this Monsoon as per the guidelines of Ayurveda.
- Stay away from leafy greens during rainy season as during this time they are susceptible to worms.
- Spicy and oily food cause indigestion, bloating and salt retention.
- Sour or acidic foods are not also conducive during the rainy season.
- Steamed and well-cooked food are very good for health during the rainy season.
- Cow’s milk is easily digestible, light, provides quick energy and does not lead to lethargy.
- Try and replace wheat and maida with Barley and gram.
- According to Ayurveda, lunch should consist of all the six basic tastes including sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent. The lunch should begin with something sweet as in a fruit or a sweetmeat, followed by something salty, sour, and pungent. The meal should end with a bitter and finally an astringent like Fennel seeds or Carrom as mouth fresheners.
- Ayurveda suggests that dinner should be very light and rice, milk, jowar/jola (corn) are best used as they are easily digestible. Dinner should be had at least 2 hours before bedtime.
Dos and Don’ts
- Small amounts of dry fruits should be included in the daily diet.
- Light snacks is fine but should not include fried stuff.
- Red Gram Lentil (Toor Dal) causes acidity and flatulence and its intake should be reduced.
- Green Gram Lentil (Moong Dal) is the most easily digestible.
- Black Gram Lentil (Udat Dal) is an antidote to excessive flatulence.
- Yam, sweet potato, brinjal and pumpkin are very good for health during monsoon.
- Processed food is best avoided during this season.
- It is better to reduce intake of non-vegetarian items including meat, pork, beef, and fish.
- Better to consume curd with sugar or salt.
- Clarified butter (Ghee) made from cow’s milk is very good during this season as it helps digestion, boosts immunity, increases stress fighting capacity, and improves memory.
- Light exercises such as yoga and jogging are very important to keep fit.
- Panchakarma Ayurvedic therapy that helps in detoxifying the body through a series of massages should be done during the Monsoon season as it refreshes the body physically and mentally.