Summer Foods and Vegetables

Health Care 423 Comments

Bottle gourd (Ghia), ridged gourd (Tori), Indian round gourd or apple gourd (Tinda), pumpkin (kaddu) are all summer vegetables that grow on creepers. They all have high water content and have some diuretic action. They follow certain laws of nature. Nature always produces vegetables and fruits known to prevent diseases of that season. For example, coconuts grow in coastal areas as they provide immunity from humidity disorders. Mangoes grow in summer as unripe mango can prevent heat disorders. Similarly, the creeper summer vegetables reduce thirst, prevent and treat dehydration and prevent dehydration induced kidney diseases.

In summer, one should drink and take locally grown seasonal vegetables. The requirement of water also increases approximately by 500 ml. Traditionally, Shikanji with lemon, water, sugar and salt works out to be one of the main treatments of heat disorders.

How do we identify that a particular vegetable or fruit is not grown artificially?

Of late, several stories have appeared in the media that watermelon, bottle gourd, banana etc. are grown in the market by artificial means. Farmers are injecting oxytocin injections in watermelon and in bottle gourd, which makes the vegetable/fruit grow by 20% in less than two hours. Oxytocin being a hormone, if ingested through these vegetables for over a period of time can lead to nervous disorders and hormonal imbalances. Though it is the duty of the government to see that such practices are curbed, it is equally the duty of the consumers to see that they do not buy fruits and vegetables that are artificially grown.

One of the ways to find out is to look at the vegetables we are buying. For example, when we buy Ladyfingers, out of the available stock, we obviously will try to pick out the ones that are healthy. If the Ladyfingers are of different sizes and consistency, color and age, this means that the vegetable has been naturally cultivated. On the contrary, if the Ladyfingers have been artificially grown, they will all be of the same age, size, consistency, odour, smell etc. Whenever we find a water melon or bottle gourd of the same size and larger than the normal size, one should suspect that the particular vegetable/fruit may have been artificially grown. Some may argue that vegetables grown in controlled environment in cold storage may also look alike. These vegetables will invariably be sold at a higher price in the market.

Dr KK Aggarwal
Editor in Chief