India is a land of various cultures as well as seasons hence different types of foods, vegetables and fruits can be found at different times. Despite this large platter, one should know when and what to eat for effective result. Eating seasonal food is the best way to remain healthy as there is a variation in the nutrient content of veggies or fruits when they are harvested off-season.
Food items of Spring Season
Spring is the season of life, prosperity and richness. Eating easily digestible food during this season is a better way of staying healthy and fit. Food, which contains grains like barley, rye, millet, buckwheat and wheat, can be consumed. Some of the food items of spring season with benefits are as follows:
Radish:Radish is enriched with fibre, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, copper, calcium, and manganese. It prevents viral infections, eliminates toxins, protects against cancer, relieves indigestion, and keeps hydrated.
Peas: Peas have sweet taste and starchy texture and they contain a unique assortment of health-protective phyto-nutrients. Peas are nutritious and low in fat. They also come with anti-inflammatory benefits.
Spring onions: Spring onions are good source of vitamin C, chromium and dietary fibre. They help lower glucose levels in the blood stream, protect against cancer, especially ovarian cancer and help destroy worms and other parasites in the stomach.
Spinach: Spinach is a good source of vitamin C. It eases constipation and protects the mucus lining of the stomach, so that one can stay free of ulcers. It also flushes out toxins from the colon.
Food items of Summer Season
The summer season or the “greeshma” ritu is extremely hot so restoring the fluids that are lost in sweat is very important. Concentrating on water and cool beverages like buttermilk can help to keep the body cool. It is essential to keep the humidity level proper. Mango rose, rose petal jams are also ideal drinks for the season. Black tulsi seeds, if added to any cool drink will be delicious as well as refreshing. Some of the food items of summer season with benefits are as follows:
Mango: Mango which is regarded as the ‘king of fruits’ is loaded with various health benefits. It lowers cholesterol, acts as a skin cleanser, keeps eyes healthy, prevents diabetes, improves digestion, prevents heat stroke, and boosts immune system. Also protects against colon, breast, leukaemia and prostate cancers.
Watermelon: Watermelon contains a large amount of water. It is very nutritious and can boost energy.
Lychee: This fruit is a good source of vitamin C and vitamin B. Lychee is also a good source of potassium, an electrolyte that helps to maintain fluid balance, contract muscles and control blood pressure.
Bitter Gourd: It lowers blood glucose levels, lowers dietary carbohydrate digestion, reverses insulin resistance, and prevents diabetic complications. It can also protect the body from other non-communicable diseases
Ladies finger or Bhindi: It comprises of no calories and is enriched with dietary fibre which is important for digestive system. Bhindi also helps to fight against diabetes.
Papaya: Papaya is low in calories and high in nutritional values. It helps in preventing constipation and aids in digestion, lowers blood cholesterol levels and also helps in controlling premature ageing.
Food Items of Monsoon Season
Monsoon means rainy season hence the weather is wet, soggy and humid. The humidity weakens the digestion so special care has to be taken during monsoon season. Grains like barley and wheat and flesh of animals of “janagal desha” should be consumed in sufficient quantities. Lukewarm water should be consumed. Milk, ghee and plain butter can also be taken. Fishes from lakes, which are oily, can be consumed. An important constituent of the diet during the rainy season should be honey. Some of the food items of monsoon season with benefits are as follows:
Peach: Peach is rich in phyto-chemicals. It keeps the skin healthy and reduces hair loss. It can also help to remove worms from the intestines.
Plum: Plum is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. It is also a good source of dietary fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C and K.
Food Items of Autumn Season
Autumn or ‘sharad ritu’ is the season when one should take plenty of sunlight to avoid mood swings that come during the winter season. In this season, the diet should consist of sweet, slight bitter and light foods. Grains like barley, ragi and wheat can be consumed. Oily food can also be consumed like animals with oily flesh. Lukewarm beverages can be taken throughout the day. In the evening one can consume tea made with cumin seeds. Before going to bed it is better to consume hot milk with few threads of saffron. Some of the food items of autumn season with benefits are:
Beetroot: Beetroot is loaded with various benefits. It beats osteoporosis, keeps diabetes under check, treats anaemia, helps relieve fatigue, beats constipation and keeps the stomach healthy and boosts brain power.
Brinjal/Eggplant: Brinjal is rich source of fibre and low soluble carbohydrates. It helps create iron in the human body, facilitates weight loss, and helps in digestion.
Cabbage: Cabbage is a good source of vitamin C. It is helpful in treating ulcers, certain cancers, and depression. Cabbage can speed up the healing process for wounds and damaged tissues, regulate the proper functioning of the nervous system, and reduce the effects and presence of Alzheimer’s disease.
Cauliflower: Consumption of cauliflower helps in maintaining the heart and the cardiovascular system. It also helps in lowering cholesterol levels.
Tomato: Tomato is rich source of antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin A. It provides protection against high cholesterol, strokes, and heart disease. It also helps in building strong bones and fights against several cancers, including prostate, cervical, stomach, rectal, prostate and ovarian cancer.
Food items of Winter Season
Along with a pleasant weather, winter welcomes various vegetables and fruits with varied health benefits. But winter is a time of downtime as a result human’s metabolism slows down. It is important to conserve energy and build strength by consuming the right seasonal food items. Some of them are as follows:
Apples: Biting and chewing an apple stimulates the production of saliva in mouth, reducing tooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria. Also keeps Alzheimer’s away, curbs all sorts of cancers, decreases risk of diabetes, reduces cholesterol, prevents gallstones, neutralizes irritable bowel syndrome, controls weight, detoxifies liver, and prevents cataracts.
Oranges: Orange is enriched with Vitamin C and is low in calories. Orange is capable of fighting against germs.
Carrots: This root vegetable has good level of carotene. Carrot is also a good source of vitamins B, C, D, E and K, as well as calcium pectate.
Fenugreek Leaves: Fenugreek leaves are enriched with vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytonutrients. It can lower cholesterol and help to keep diabetes under check.
Happy Reading @ Jfc food consulting