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Ayurveda and Rain Diet

Ayurveda and Rain Diet

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Published by Dr. Anjali Rao

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Published by: Dr. Anjali Rao on Aug 13, 2011
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Ayurveda and Rain DietRitucharyaThe change in seasons affects human body in a large scale. Climatic changescan bring in certain diseases to humans. Rithu charyas (ritucharyas) aredirected to keep man protected from diseases that can occur due to changein seasons.Though the seasons explained in ritu charyas are not exactly the same in allgeographic locations, one can form his own rithucharya based on climaticconditions existing at his place.According to Ayurveda there are six different seasons (ritu or rithus). Sisira(Sisiram – winter) January-February, vasantha (vasantham, basanta,basantha -Spring) March-April, Greeshma (greeshma, grishma, grishmam –Summer) May-June, Varsha (varsham, barsha – rainy season) July-Aug,Sarath (sarat, sarata – Autumn) September-October and Hemant (hemanta,hemantam – dew) in November – December are the six ritus. However, notall six climates are experienced in India (and Kerala in special) today. Thefour main climates now experienced in India are sarath, hemant, greeshmaand varsha. In Kerala, one can now only identify only three main climates – aprolonged rainy season, a short summer season, and a shorter autumnseason. Now a days it rains in Kerala all year round – probably a symptom of climatic changes, a disease that affects bhumi or the earth.Ritu charya for Sarath (Autumn)During sarath rithu, pitta dosha becomes prominent. Hot so hot food itemsare advisable for this season. Never sleep in daytime. Honey, small pea,green vegetables, green berries, red-rice, etc form good food items for thisseason.Ritu Charya for Hemantha (dew-snowy season)Kapha dosha is prominent this season. Enable the body to fight the coldoutside this season. Energy rich food items like milk and milk products, ghee,carbohydrate rich food items like rice, wheat, whole gram, etc.Ritu Charya for Greeshma (Summer)This season has vata as prominent dosha. Avoid heavy physical exertion thishot season. Drink lot of water, juice, butter milk, lemon juice, etc. Take bathin cold water. Include all possible seasonal fruits in your daily diet – jackfruit, tomato, banana, water melon, cucumber, etc. Wear cotton clothes.Ritu Charya for Varsha (rainy season)This is the season when humans are most prone to diseases. Thippali (piperlongum or Indian long pepper), honey, dried ginger, honey, ghee, etc shallbe used with grains – rice, wheat etc. Eat lot of carbohydrate rich food anddrink water that is cooled after boiling. Avoid day-sleep and physical
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exertion. Expect some kind of digestive problems during this rithu.Sarath and vasantha ritus are pleasant seasons with hot days and coldnights. Hemant also doesn’t irritate any of the tridoshas.It is uttarayana kala (north travelling time) during the first six months of theyear. That is the sun travels over the northern hemisphere. This months arecollectively called ‘adaala kalam’, which means something that sucks awayenergy. General body condition will be weak during this season. Avoid fooditems with bitter or hot tastes and include sweet tasting, sour, salty fooditems in your diet. Orange, banana, grapes, pineapple, jackfruit, etc are goodfruit items that one can include in his diet.July to December and up to January is dakshinayana kalam (the sun travelsover the southern hemisphere). Body is better equipped during this season.One can include sweet, sour, salty food items in his/her diet.These are all the directions by ancient Ayurveda acharyas. At first, you mayfeel these directions are not viable. On a closer look, you can find adjustingfood and clothing according to seasons ensures smoothing mingling withnature, the natural route to better health.According toAyurveda, monsoon is the time when the humidity levels in theatmosphere are high. Add in the warm temperature and the result is thatthe body's digestive capability goes down. In fact this is the time when thedigestion is at its lowest, when people eat some incorrect foods during thistime the result is illness!
Rainy season or monsoon is the time enjoyed by almost every individual.It’s the time when people start feeling the urge to take fried, spicy foodsetc. But remember this is the time when body’s immunity gets weak andalso humidity in the temperature affects your internal environment. So aperson should need to be cautious to remain healthy in this beautiful seasonto enjoy it utmost.
So here are some food hygiene precautions and diet modification which are amust:
# As per Ayurveda which is a life science, rainy season (varsha ritu) is thetime when the digestive fire gets very weak , so to improve the digestivefire (agni) easily digestible and light food should be taken. Vegetables
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soups, moong dal are very good to be taken. Generally non- leafyvegetables are recommended to be taken in this season.# Take a glass of lukewarm water with honey empty stomach to flush outthe toxins. Also intake the water intake in a day to keep the body hydrated.# Add digestive condiments as ginger, green gram, pepper, zeera,coriander etc to the food so as to aid proper digestion of meals.# Try to avoid eating uncooked vegetables and salads.
Avoid heavy, saltyfood as it promotes water retention and bloating. It is better to havemedium to low salt food. There are many preparations available which haveapotassiumsalt too (regular salt has a high level of sodium which isresponsible forhigh blood pressureand water retention). Avoid fried foodsas they decrease the digestive efficiency. Avoid heavy oils like mustard oil,peanut oil, sesame oil. Besides increasing thepitta, it also providesmoisture and oiliness to the system which invites infection. Consume dryingoils like corn oil, or light oils like olive oils. Maintain the general hygienewhile eating out and definitely avoid roadside vendors as very few peoplehave the high immunity to handle the bacterial overload at such places.Avoid salads or choose warm/steamedsalads as there are many infectiousorganisms in this season. Avoid foods which are very sour like tamarind(imli), chutneys and pickles as they promote water retention. Avoidconsuming dairy foods like paneer, raita etc outside at a street vendor.
# Don’t overeat. Take the food in moderate amount as the body is not ableto digest the heavy food properly.
Eat light foods like vegetables, fruits,cereals etc and avoid too much of meat or fish. One can also enjoy grilled,tandoori foods which need minimum oil/butter. Eat foods which are dryingin nature, the most popular being makka (corn), chana (chickpea), besan(gram flour), jow (oats). Eating watery foods like rice, lassi, watermelon,muskmelon creates swelling in the body. Wash all green vegetablesthoroughly as a lot of worms and insects are hidden in the leafy vegetables.Consume a lot of bitter vegetables like karela (bitter gourd) and bitterherbs like neem (basil), methi (fenugreek) seeds, haldi (turmeric) as it preventsinfection. 
# Avoid sleeping in day time. Avoid physical exertion and overexposure tosun.
Do not indulge in heavy exercises, instead walking along with yoga or
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