7 Immunity Boosting Seasonal fruits and Veg for the Monsoon
Eating with the seasons is a great way to eat fresh, especially during monsoons when everyone comes down with the flu. Advances in farming and agriculture means we can get almost any produce at any time of year, but we’re urging you to go with the flow, the seasonal flow that is. Going Local and seasonal not only reduces your carbon foot print, but it also ensures that you’re getting the most nutrients from your food.
Vegetables and fruits that haven’t been tampered with for export will always be the freshest and best for your body. Usually produce is picked a little early, so they can ripen when they reach the stores. Early picking means they haven’t reached their full nutritional value and they aren’t as fresh when they finally get to you. Mother nature has a cycle for all produce, so why should we buck the current and speed up or change her plans?
With these things in mind let’s take a look at some yummy fruits and veg that will keep you satiated during the monsoon and help build your immunity.
1. Lychee or Litchi
These little juicy wonders are a precursor to the June monsoons, they begin popping up around mid-May to mid-June. Lychees are high in vitamin C, copper and phosphorus. They also contain the polyphenol oligonol that has antioxidant and anti-viral properties.
2. Karela (bitter gourd)
Although you can get karela all year round, it’s typically grown and harvested in July. The poor karela vegetable is very unloved on the vegetable scale, but these actually help maintain blood sugar, making it perfect for diabetics. They are also high in calcium, more than even spinach. It is also high in vitamin C, anti-oxidants and minerals which is great to boost immunity and keep the toxins out. It might not taste great, but a half a cup of Karela in your morning smoothie is a must in the monsoons.
3. Gawaar (cluster beans)
Gawaar requires adequate rainfall and hence is grown in monsoon. Cluster bean bhaji is very popular throughout Indian households, almost everyone has a recipe for it. They are rich in vitamin A,B and K plus contain minerals such as potassium, Iron, Folate and calcium. It is often recommended that pregnant women should eat gawaar whenever they can because of the natural iron and calcium that is usually deficient in pregnant women.
Interestingly, there are over 3000 varieties of pears available in India and their season starts at the end of summer going into the monsoon. Pears are nutrient-dense which means low in calories but high in nutrients especially the immunity boosting vitamin C - 1 pear constitutes to 12% of your daily vitamin C value. It is also very high in fiber, making the pear an excellent snack for those on a diet.
5. Kakadi (cucumber)
Cucumber is grown in two seasons, from January to February and from June to July, when the temperature is relatively cool but not too cold. While you can get them year round, it’s best and most fresh during those months. Low in calories and high in water, it’s great for a snack in the afternoon. It’s also yum raw or sliced and infused in water, keeping hydrated helps flush out toxins and keeps the body functioning optimally.
6. Bhendi (lady finger)
Bhendi needs long warm weather and takes time to grow. It’s usually harvested during the monsoon as that is when it is at its freshest. Again as mentioned before, lady finger can be grown throughout the year, but they are ripe for the picking in June after the long summer. Bhendi is high in dietary-fiber, vitamin C and A, Magnesium, calcium and iron. Also, when fried it is YUMMY!
Don’t let the monsoon dampen your mango spirits. Dussheri, Totapuri, Kesar, Chausa and the Langra are all available during the June to July months, some even extend to August. According to mango.org - 1 cup of mangos is equal to 100% of your daily Vitamin C and it has no sodium, cholesterol or fat. As we know Vitamin C is a great immunity booster.
Like this article?
Read More: Are you a Locavore?