The best way to make the most of a season is by relishing vegetables and fruits. The rainy season might bring some respite from the sultry months but, at the same time, one might be susceptible to allergies and diseases. Contracting flu is such a common phenomenon, especially in the monsoon

There are seven superfoods that are perfect for one’s health, recommended by a nutrition expert, that can keep you nourished and healthy, leaving you with glowing skin.

Nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar, who has worked with celebrities like Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan, shared Instagram posts about food items one should include in their diet during the monsoon. Read on to find out all about the seven superfoods.

SATTU

A mix of chana dal, wheat and rice flour, Sattu is replete with nutrition as it provides the body with minerals like calcium, vitamins such as folic acid and essential amino acids like lysine. Why should one have it? Rujuta Diwekar reveals one should have sattu because it –

– Reduces menstrual cramps and clots

– Reduces dark circles under the eyes

– Reduces pigmentation and hair loss

DESI CORN

Corn or butta provides amazing benefits for the body. It has vitamin B and folic acid that promote healthy hair and prevent it from graying. It also contains fibre which prevents constipation and regulates glucose levels. Rujuta Diwekar suggests different ways of having it: “Have it roasted, boiled, turn them into rotis and enjoy them in their full glory.”

ALU

Alu is a big leafy vegetable that is grown in the monsoon. It is great for glowing skin. It contains micronutrients, especially the lesser known ones like hyaluronic acid (HA). “It’s the stuff that most expensive derma products are made of. It gives your collagen and connective tissue a much-needed boost and prevents all signs of ageing. And is known to give you a smooth, flawless, glowing complexion and even lustrous hair,” Rujuta Diwekar writes. HA, contained in Alu, can help vision, protect joints and is useful in rheumatoid arthritis.

DESI DATES

Dates, also known locally as khajoor, improve haemoglobin levels. It is used for treating sleep disorders, fights most infections and allergies and boosts exercise performance. When should one have it? Rujuta Diwekar suggests:

– First thing in the morning.

– After lunch if haemoglobin levels are low.

– In kids’ tiffin, especially if they are hitting puberty.

RAGI

Also known as nachni, Ragi is stoked with important minerals that strengthen the spine. Rujuta Diwekar suggests, “If you have kids under 5 years, ensure that they are introduced to these foods already. They are the ones most at risk of climate change and the disasters that it will bring. It’s time to wean them off the doughnuts, chocolates, biscuits and to future-proof their health and wellbeing.”

How can you use it? The nutrition expert shares:

One can cook it with milk, like porridge, for breakfast. It is great as a health drink as it also promotes height growth for kids and strengthens stamina.

It can be rolled into steamed balls and can be served with peanut chutney. One can also make laddoos at home with jaggery and coconut. Ragi dosa with chutney is another delicacy. One can simply make it like a roti (flatbread) and have it with a sabzi.

Ragi is also great for weight loss.

JACKFRUIT SEEDS

Also known as Athalya, jackfruit seeds are great for monsoon. Since many green vegetables are not served during this season, Rujuta Diwekar adds that jackfruit seeds ensure a steady supply of vitamins, fibre and minerals. Besides this, the nutrition expert lists three important reasons why one should include jackfruit seeds to their diet this season.

They are versatile as they can be cooked as sabzi or curry and eaten with rice. They can also be steamed or roasted with some salt and pepper and make for a delicious snack.

They are nutritious as they contain polyphenols that give you ageless skin, zinc and other micro-minerals that help boost fertility and hormonal health. These seeds also contain fibre, riboflavin and vitamin B that regulate high blood pressure, improve blood sugar levels and reduce gut inflammation.

Besides this, jackfruit seeds are inexpensive and have zero wastage.

Rujuta Diwekar has rules for eating pulses.

Rule 1: Soaking and sprouting them before cooking, to reduce the anti-nutrients and allow for optimum enzyme action to break them down

Rule 2: Mixing them with millets and grains to improve their essential to non-essential amino acid ratio. The ratio is 1:3 when you use it with rice and 1:2 when you use it with a mixture of millets and grains.

Rule 3: Having a wide variety of pulses and having them in different forms to optimize intake of all nutrients.

“India has more than 65000 varieties of pulses and legumes. A wide variety of pulses (atleast 5 different types in a week) when eaten in different ways (as dal, papad, pickle, idli, dosa, laddoo, halwa, etc.) ensures that we get the diet diversity needed for healthy gut bacteria,” she adds.

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