| Youngsters get ready to take a sip of fruit juice at Mauryalok Complex in Patna on Sunday. Picture by Jai Prakash |
The arrival of monsoon has given the young and the old the chance to sink their teeth into an array of juicy summer fruits and leafy vegetables. But residents are exercising slight caution against suffering from stomach disorder by overeating.
People had been suppressing their desire and restraining their taste buds all the summer months, eagerly waiting to gorge on the choicest of fruits and vegetables. But the truant monsoon has played spoilsport.
“The soothing weather tempts us to gorge on everything that we can lay our hands on. However, one should be careful about eating because various stomach-related ailment are quite common in this season. Though cauliflower is my favourite vegetable, I refrain from eating it during monsoon because it might be infected with worms. However, there is not much problem while having fruits as they help one stay fit,” said Rituraj, a resident of Buddha Colony.
Parents are also ensuring that they feed their children a guided diet to ensure that the little ones do not suffer from diseases common during the monsoon.
“I compel my children to drink purified water only because water-borne diseases are common during the rainy season. I take extra precaution in storing fruits and vegetables in clean containers. I even include bitter gourd in their diet. Though children do not like its bitter taste but it makes the body immune against infections. Moreover, I ensure that I purchase eatables from hygienic grocery shops,” said Asha Sinha, a homemaker at Rajendra Nagar.
Health experts have a few words of caution for eating habits during monsoon.
“People should be careful regarding what leafy vegetables they consume during the rains. There is no doubt that vegetables are extremely nutritious but adequate precautionary steps should be taken in cooking dishes with them. Vegetables should be washed thoroughly with clean water before cooking because they might be covered with mud and pesticides. Leafy vegetables like cabbage, spinach or lettuce should be avoided. Spinach might contain bacteria, which can cause stomach disorders. I would also suggest cutting down on the intake of heavy pulses like red beans, grams and sprouted grains because they might cause bacterial infections or lead to formation of flatulence. Oily and spicy food items should also be avoided,” said Dr Rajiv Ranjan Prasad, a professor of physiology at Patna Medical College and Hospital.
“Ripe mangoes, pomengranates, papayas, apples and watermelons contribute a great deal towards keeping one stay fit and healthy. The rates for mangoes are quite high because of low production this year but that cannot be an excuse for compromising on health concerns. Properly ripened fruits should be preferred over hybrid varieties. Before consuming any vegetable it must be boiled in salt water to kill germs. Stored or packed food items such as like tinned vegetables or fruits should be avoided as far as possible because they might have fungal growth on them,” said Anoop Tripathi, regi-onal manager of a UK-based healthcare agency.
Residents can take suggestions from the vegetable vendors as well.
“It is safe to eat almost all vegetables but people should include potatoes, brinjal, bottle gourd, bitter gourd, tomatoes, ladies’ finger and pumpkins in their daily diet. It is best to avoid leafy vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, spinach and lettuce in this season,” said Jai Ram Kumar Singh, a vegetable vendor on Boring Road.