SUMMER VEGETABLES………………………………………………..FITNESS MANTRA
After enjoying vegetables like sarson da saag, spinach, fenugreek leaves, peas, carrots etc in winters, summer comes with its own bounty of vegetables and fruits. The nature basket of winter gives us ample micro nutrients like iron, folic acid, potassium, calcium. Vitamin A from green leafy vegetables carrots, peas etc.
A winter fruit like apple has a good amount of pectin; citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C and beta carotene. Overall, all winter vegetables and fruits are fiber rich and full of antioxidants. So how can these nutrients be bad in summer, which is almost devoid of all greens and colorful vegetables? There is no need to panic as summer has its own army of vegetables.
Pumpkins are rich repositories of beta carotene, calcium, potassium and fiber. In traditional medicine pumpkin is said to have cooling properties, is a diuretic and good for stomach upset. Yellow pumpkin also has soluble fiber which helps fight constipation.
Bottle gourd (ghiya) and squash (tinda) contain iron and some calcium. Bitter gourd (karela) possesses food quantity of iron and Vitamin C. but do not boil it and throw the water away, have it steamed.
Lady’s finger has good amount of calcium, folic, acid and Vitamin C. It has soluble fiber, and is very good for controlling blood sugar levels. Summer vegetables, though low in the micro nutrients are compared to their winter counterparts, have better bio-availability of these nutrients. Winter green vegetables may be rich in calcium and iron. But these are not easily digestible as these vegetables have inhibitors called phytates and oxalates which hinder the absorption of these nutrients.
Luckily, summer vegetables do not have these inhibitors. Moreover, summer vegetables and fruits can be consumed in larger quantities as compared to winter ones, since there are light on the stomach and have a cooling effect. So God has created a perfect balance of nature’s bounty according to seasons.