Don't you love the thought of eating something piping hot and crispy during a rainy day? It's no surpise why samosa and pakoda sales during the monsoons hit an all time high. But rainy season is also accompanied by a number of health problems. There is a spike in incidences of water and foodborne diseases in monsoon. Common diseases like cough, cold, fever, diarrhoea and indigestion are rampant. You can keep yourself healthy by eating the right kind of food; hence, you need to be very particular about your food choices.
If you are wondering what to eat and what not to eat to avoid the common illnesses during monsoon, here's what you should know:
What To Do
- Drink plenty of water (10-12 glasses each day) to avoid dehydration, as the water intake reduces due to cold weather. Importantly, switch to boiled or filtered water.
- Include seasonal fruits like pear, pomegranate, apple, banana, pineapple, as they are rich in antioxidants and boost your immunity to fight off infections.
- Drink herbal teas infused with ginger, cinnamon, black pepper and cardamom, as they have immunity boosting properties. It also helps to ease the digestive system and improves metabolism.
- Include immune boosting spices like turmeric, mustard, asafoetida (hing), coriander, cloves, garlic, ginger, pepper and curry leaves, in your food as they have anti-bacterial properties and help ease digestion.
- Include whole grains (oats, wheat, barley, jowar), legumes and dals in your diet, as they are rich in protein which in turn boosts your immunity and helps fight infection.
- Green leafy vegetables, cabbage, cauliflower, lady finger and broccoli should be washed in salt water to kill germs thriving on them.
- Walnuts, almonds, prunes and dates are good source of energy, antioxidants and help boost immunity.
- Have low fat milk and milk products (curd, buttermilk, paneer, lassi), as it helps to ease digestion. It is advisable to add turmeric in milk, as it is natural antiseptic and antibiotic agent.
- Have beetroot and radish juice every day during monsoon, as it detoxifies your body.
What Not To Do
- Avoid canned and preserved food as they are high in sodium, and may lead to water retention and high Blood Pressure
- Avoid pre-cut fruits that are made available on the roadside. Always choose a whole fruit over pre-cut fruit
- Eat steamed vegetable salad instead of raw vegetable salad, as they contain active bacteria and virus’ that cause infection.
- Avoid spicy foods as it is hard for digestion and may lead to stomach upset.
- Avoid excessive intake of Tea and Coffee, as it dehydrates the body.
- Avoid street food like Chaats, Panipuri, Sandwich, Bhel, etc.
- Avoid raw meat and Eggs. Wash these thoroughly under running water before cooking.
- Avoid roadside ready-to-drink fresh fruit juices.
Stay healthy and safe this monsoon by following the above guidelines. Have homecooked healthy and nutritious food. Also maintain hygiene by taking precautionary measures, like washing hands before and after having a meal. And what does Ayurveda say about monsoon diet? Read to find out.
(This article has been contributed by Niyati P Likhite, Dietician, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan)