Ayurvedic Diet For Monsoon 2024: Boost Immunity With Expert Tips
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The arrival of the monsoon season offers a welcome break from the intense summer heat. But this period's moist and humid weather might also increase our vulnerability to infections and diseases. Immunity building is seen in Ayurveda as essential to preserving general health and well-being. With its holistic approach and emphasis on Sattvic foods, you can strengthen your immune systems and withstand the rainy season with more resilience by adopting Ayurvedic dietary patterns into your life.

In light of this, Slurrp spoke with Dr. Ravishankar Polisetty, a pioneer of Poly Scientific Ayurveda and a former cardiac surgeon, to gain his professional advice on the Indian monsoon diet and other food-related subjects concerning Ayurveda and strengthening immunity. He talked about how you can incorporate Ayurveda into your diet and how important it is to maintain your body's health throughout the monsoon season.

How Is Ayurveda Different From Allopathy?

Dr. Ravishankar Polisetty started with some Ayurvedic recommendations for the seasonal changes in India that differ from allopathic and other recommendations by saying, "Ayurveda and modern medicine have their specific methods to address monsoon-related illnesses and allergies. While Ayurveda, an ancient healing system, recommends lifestyle and diet modifications to boost the body’s immune system, the allopathic approach mainly focuses on symptom-based treatments.”

He further continued on the topic," At the root of Ayurveda is the emphasis on balancing the Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas.  Ayurveda also acknowledges the impact of seasonal changes on these doshas and hence makes different dietary recommendations that are in tune with the weather. In the summers, Ayurvedic practitioners recommend cooling foods to maintain homeostasis, and in winter, they advocate the consumption of calorie-rich foods for enhanced body heat and energy."

The Importance Of Eating Warm, Cooked Food In Monsoon According To Ayurveda

As the monsoon season approaches, the need to eat warm, home-cooked food also increases due to a noticeable drop in temperature. "During the monsoon season, the digestive fire (Agni) weakens due to the damp weather and the diminished energy from the sun. Ayurveda hence suggests detoxification, an immunity-boosting method by eating warm, well-cooked meals as they are also preferred over raw and cold food as they are easier to digest," said Dr. Polisetty, emphasising the importance of keeping your digestive system healthy along with blood circulation.

The Significance Of Hydration In Monsoon

Hydration is a key aspect in keeping your metabolism high and healthy during the monsoon season. Continuing on the subject, Dr. Polisetty stated, "Ayurveda underscores the need for adequate hydration during monsoon, as the body loses fluids even though it sweats less during the season. Adequate water intake is also vital for flushing out toxins and mitigating skin diseases. Including fruits and vegetables with high water content in your diet is also recommended in Ayurveda to boost hydration. "

Therefore, you must always aim for at least 4 litres of water every day to provide your body with adequate hydration.

Essential Herbs For Monsoon Diet According To Ayurveda

Moving on to one of the most important aspects of Ayurveda- the use of various herbs. Since these herbs are known for their wide range of healthy benefits and nutrients, including them in your monsoon diet is regarded as a great decision for your body and health. Dr. Polisetty, emphasising the importance of herbs, stated, "Ayurvedic principles state that herbs like ginger, garlic, turmeric, tulsi, and black pepper can enhance digestion, boost immunity and balance doshas during the monsoon. Many of these herbs are recognised for their medicinal qualities, including their compounds, which have been scientifically proven to possess anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and immune-boosting properties. However, each herb has a different impact on a person as well as on their dosha imbalance, so seek in-depth advice from an experienced Ayurvedic doctor before consuming any. "

Common Foods To Avoid In Monsoon Season

Apart from paving the way for newer foods in the diet during the monsoon, there are also several common foods that you need to let go of, especially during this time of the year.

"As per Ayurveda, the Vata and Pitta doshas may be aggravated during the monsoon season. Hence, it is recommended to avoid heavy, oily items along with cold and raw foods that can slow down gastric emptying and exacerbate digestive discomfort. Uncooked vegetables are to be avoided, too, as they may contain bacteria. It is also advisable to avoid leafy vegetables as well as contamination-prone seafood," said Dr. Ravishankar Polisetty.

Ayurvedic Dietary Substitution Of Common Foods In Monsoon For A Healthier Lifestyle

Moving on to the final segment of the interview, Dr. Polisetty highlighted the importance of certain substitutes that you can make during the monsoon season in order to lead a healthy lifestyle. These are simple changes to the diet that are not only beneficial to your health but also to your taste buds as they provide a distinct flavour to your meals and drinks.

Dr. Polisetty said, "During monsoon season, replacing normal tea with herbal teas containing ginger, tulsi, and cinnamon can prove to be beneficial as they offer antioxidant properties. You could also steam raw vegetables as they enhance nutrient bioavailability. Switching from your non-vegetarian favourites to vegetarian options will also soothe you as plant-based proteins are less taxing on the digestive system."

Therefore, if you want to boost your health during the monsoon season this year, then be sure to give utmost importance to your hydration, eat warm, home-cooked food, include various herbs in your diet, avoid heavy, oily food, along with leafy greens and seafood, and make some healthy dietary substitutions to provide your body with warmth and nutrition, as backed up by Dr. Ravishankar Polisetty, a pioneer of Poly Scientific Ayurveda.