Table of Contents
Monsoon is a time of enjoyment and relief from the oppressive heat of summer and humidity. It is the season when you curl up in your bed under a light blanket to enjoy watching the rains as you sip slowly from a hot cup of elaichi tea or coffee. Monsoon is also a time when you huddle up with your friends and family and exchange stories about your day and interesting anecdotes as you dig into a plate of crispy onion or paneer pakoras along with some homemade delicious chutney.
Keeping all the positives aside, monsoon is also a season when one can fall ill from a number of diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, malaria, cold, flu and stomach upsets. Your gut health is the most compromised aspect of your body in the rainy season and you should be extra careful about what you are eating.
Vegetables are something that we eat daily either for lunch, dinner and for those who are health-conscious, veggies are included in all 3 meals, starting with breakfast. Eating the right vegetables is crucial during this season as they can become a breeding ground for bacteria and germs and cause infections.
In this article, we discuss vegetables to avoid consuming this season.
As Indians, we love to eat eggplants, whether it's baigan bhajis to have with lentils and rice or baigan bharta to have with chapatis or just simple baby brinjal curry, eggplants are delicious to eat when they are cooked right. But eggplant is a bulb-like vegetable that contains alkaloids, a kind of chemical compound that can be extremely toxic.
These chemicals protect the plant from pest infestation. Infestation of pests and insects is at its peak during the rainy season and so eggplants tend to release toxic chemicals in plenty. Symptoms of alkaloid infection are itchy skin, nausea and skin rashes. It is best to resume your consumption of eggplant in the coming season.
Green Leafy Veggies
This group of vegetables will include an array of vegetables starting from spinach, kale, cabbage, fenugreek leaves, mustard leaves and Chinese spinach to name a few. This means you cannot enjoy palak paneer, methi chicken, methi thepla or spinach omelette during the monsoon season.
The reason is that such veggies are grown in the soil which is also the breeding ground for bacteria and microbes to thrive. The soil can become contaminated and leech into the vegetables. If you do plan to eat these veggies make sure to soak them in a solution for 30 minutes.
To make the solution you will need a cup of vinegar and 3-4 tablespoons of salt. Wash the veggies well and then boil them before consumption.
Cauliflower contains chemical compounds known as glucosinolates that can upset the digestive system for many people. People who are sensitive to these compounds can experience allergic reactions. Cauliflower is best consumed in winter when they are in season. If you are craving some Gobi Manchurian, cauliflower baked or s cauliflower and potato curry, it is best to wait and have them a few months later.
Bell peppers (yellow and red) are commonly used in Chinese and Middle-Eastern dishes but they also make their presence in a ton of salads or pasta dishes in India. Bell peppers are great to have in summer as well as winter as they contain antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. But similar to cauliflower, bell peppers contain glucosinolates which can break down into isothiocyanates.
When consumed raw or even cooked bell peppers can cause allergic reactions such as breathing issues, diarrhoea, vomiting and nausea. Thus, bell peppers are best avoided during this season.
The best way to ensure health during monsoon is to have vegetables that support gut health such as bottle gourd, bitter gourd, beetroot, cucumber and radish. They are full of fibres, and minerals, and most importantly, they are in season.