The first showers of the monsoon are here. Finally, there is some respite from the excessive heat of the summer gone by. The monsoons bring along chances for weekend getaways to hill stations, fun in the rain, and lots of yummy road-site food options. Unfortunately, the monsoons also bring along many health issues with air and water borne diseases becoming rampant.
Health experts say that the humidity and the wet atmosphere of this season, are the perfect conditions for a host of germs and bacteria to thrive. The occasional cough and cold might be normal due to the change in weather. However, by following a good diet, you can avoid falling prey to major food and water borne diseases and maintain good health. Here’s some easy diet tips for you to follow.
In the monsoon, it’s best to avoid foods, with high water content such as cucumber, watermelon, tomato, and muskmelon as they can cause swelling in the body. Increase your intake of drying foods such as corn, brown rice, chick pea, potato, and oats. Sour foods such as tamarind and lime also increase water retention and are best avoided this season.
The monsoons see many food stalls pop up on different corners of the road selling fried snacks. While these are delicious seasonal treats, the noodles, bhajiya, samosas, and dosas do contain liberal amounts of salt. Added to the salt you already consume with your daily meals, this high intake of sodium can lead to hypertension and thyroid problems.
Anti-inflammatory foods help your body fight oxidative decay and slow down the process of aging. In the rainy season, when chances of falling sick are high, you need to eat lots of these foods to keep your immunity levels strong. This category includes berries, green leafy vegetables, beetroot, walnuts, turmeric, and coconut oil. These foods will help you ward off infection, gastrointestinal diseases, thyroid problems, and heart disease.
If you head to restaurant, always insist on packaged mineral water. Don’t trust water that’s been kept lying open in a jug for several hours. Water-borne diseases such as jaundice, hepatitis, and diarrhoea are more common especially in crowded city areas, so always play safe. Get your home water purifier checked and cleaned.
You will need to give a miss to your favourite street chaat, paani puri and vegetable sandwich. Even those with a high immunity can fall ill with contaminated foods. Nimbu paani and fresh fruit juices are an absolute no-no. If you eat fried foods, skip the sauces and chutneys as these could have been kept out for a long period of time. Carry tomato ketchup sachets with you so you can enjoy a treat and play safe.
Most monsoon delicacies are laden with generous amounts of chilli, peppers, and ginger. Add lots of oil to the recipe and you might be in for a tummy catastrophe. Spicy foods are alright if you’re habituated to them daily, however, they are known to increase susceptibility to many skin allergies. Avoid too many spicy foods or snacks if you have a weak stomach or you might suffer fromskin rash or piles.
Eating seasonal fruits always helps you get the maximum nutrition from them. Monsoon seasonal fruits are custard apple, cranberries, peaches, pears, and dragon fruit. Choose fruits that have a low water content and that are rich in fibre. Bananas and papaya are also great choices as they are filling and high in fibre.
Milkshakes, masala milk, chaas, and even falooda from the street-vendor or a restaurant can make you prey to water-borne diseases. Milk spoils easily in the fluctuating hot and cold temperatures of the rainy season. If you must have dairy products, have some yoghurt or a packaged ice-cream. An excessive consumption of dairy products is known to cause thyroid problems and gas, so they are best eaten in limits.
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