When weather changes from winter to summer, it’s a very rejuvenating period. And this rejuvenating period called spring brings a whiff of freshness and new life in plants.
The greening that occurs in spring time should be represented by greens on the dining table which include spinach, lettuce, cilantro, basil, spring, onions, and fenugreek. Mint and parsley are special herbs of this season.
As cold winter keeps us indoors and tends to make us eat too much, people may develop a heat balance in spring which leads to dry throats, bad breath, constipation, thick tongue coating and yellowish urine; foods like bananas, pears, sugarcane and cucumbers help clear the excessive heat.
In winter we can eat fried foods, milk, ghee and lentils as we can digest these very efficiently but they are not suitable in spring season as our digestion becomes slow.
In spring stock up on foods that have bitter and pungent tastes. Bitter foods include bittergourd, white radish, onion and garlic are great pungent options. Avoid sour foods, chutneys etc. Use more of lemon juice in recipes that require it as vitamin C in it will boost the immune system. These bitter and pungent foods are essential and exactly the kind that Mother Nature creates at this time of year. They help to reawaken the body and create a feeling of lightness.
In winters the craving is for heavy meats and nuts but in spring, cravings shift towards lighter proteins such as fish, chicken breast, hard boiled eggs, legumes.
We should eat fewer heavy nuts and more seeds such as ground flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds. It is also time to give a break to brown rice and oatmeal. The grains to be eaten should be lighter and drier than the ones like wheat, back wheat (kuttu), gram. Masoor dal is recommended in lentils. Avoid taking bajra, black lentils.
The arrival of spring also brings festivities. And when the festival of colors (Holi) is round the corner, one cannot help but think about fun with family and friends with lots of foods and drinks. Since consumption of sweets during Holi is common, ensure to have lots of salads so that it keeps to health standards and curbs appetite. Gujjia, papri and kanji ke vade among dozen other dishes are a must but one must maintain the calorie consumption, for instance, taking a spoonful instead of a full serving for dinner or lunch.
Drinking a minimum of ten glasses of water to keep hydrated is a must. Try to stay away from drinks such as thandai and other alcoholic beverages.Here are a few healthy substitutes to favourite Holi dishes: baked gujjias instead of deep fried gujjias; ragi malpuas; brown bread dahi vada instead of deep fried ones; low fat thandai prepared with skimmed milk; frozen yogurt instead of malai kulfi; baked kachoris with chana masala; fruit raita / vegetable raita. And ensure that one does not end up feeling tired and unwell after Holi.
Eat food rich in protein, complex carbs and fiber to maintain energy levels.
Detoxify with cucumber and mint salads which refreshes the body.
Have a happy, healthy, safe and colourful Holi!!