Contributed by- Dr. Dhrity Vats
With the monsoon showers, the soaring temperatures have come down, the dust in the air has settled and the pleasant smell of wet earth, surely triggers many memories for all. Paper boats, colourful umbrellas, hot piping tea with pakoras, roasted corn and much more. Monsoon is not just about greenery and a sing song in your heart, but a season that activates the taste buds to surrender to dangerous temptations.
And here comes the warning and dangers of diseases. With this beautiful weather comes along a bag full of diseases like conjunctivitis, dengue, diarrhea, food poisoning, dysentery and cholera. The sources of these infections could be any: water, air, contaminated food and a low immune system. According to medical science, during monsoons our body’s immunity comparatively reduces and the damp weather provides a perfect breeding space for many infections, both vector-borne and waterborne. The high humidity levels lowers the capability of the body to digest. Children are at a higher risk of catching fever, or getting down with the mosquito-borne diseases and their digestive system also gets weak.
The rainy season calls for an urgent need to take immense care of our daily routines, especially our eating habits. Most of us have experienced these problems at some point during this season. Hence, to stay healthy during this wonderful weather, here are few dietary do’s and don’ts.
What should be included in the diet (Do’s)?
- Drink boiled water throughout the monsoons. Water gets contaminated easily. Boiling the water kills the bacteria and viruses which can cause different infection in the digestive tract. Carry your own drinking water wherever possible and this rule applies to the children and the elderly also. Remember, this boiled water should be consumed within 24 hours of boiling.
- Keep yourself hydrated: Drink 8-10 glasses of water throughout the day as due to humidity the body tends to perspire more and lose water. This can lead to dehydration.
- Include green vegetable in your daily diet: Vegetables like karela, lauki, ghiya, tori or tinda are good and easy to digest. A word of caution: Green leafy vegetables can carry some insects and worms during monsoon, which are not removed with just washing. Hence, proper cooking is recommended.
- Prefer having fresh cooked food rather than raw vegetables. If choosing for salads wash them in clean, purified water. And while ordering food outside, avoid salads.
- Include almonds in your diet as they increase immunity.
- Have lots of curd as the lactobacillus in curd helps in keeping the gut healthy.
- Wheat, barley, horse gram, peas and oats are the stomach’s best friend during the monsoon season as they are nutritious.
- Garlic increases immunity, so try adding garlic in whatever you eat. Garlic tastes very good if added in soups which will even help to soothe your throat.
- Always wash your hands before and after eating food.
- Have a cup of hot tea or coffee or even better a hot cup of lemon tea.
What should be removed from your diet (Don’ts)?
- Do not drink water from anywhere. If you are not carrying your own water, buy a packaged bottle but never drink open water as it can be contaminated.
- Monsoon makes you crave for pakoras and fried foods. Once in a while one can have them, but fried food can make you feel heavy and decrease the speed of digestion. Hence, it is advisable to avoid fried and heavy foods.
- If you follow non-vegetarianism, then avoid fish and seafood. Choose mutton or chicken this monsoon.
- Avoid food from a roadside vendor. Even the food in restaurants can be contaminated. Both cooked or uncooked food eaten outside the house are equally risky during monsoons as can be a vector of stomach infections. The water and ice used by the chaatwala close to your house could even cause serious digestive problems. In case, you have digestive problems, consult a doctor and get tested.
- Avoid cold drinks or any form of aerated drink as it reduces the enzyme activity in our stomach which is required for a good digestion. Prefer nimbupani / lemon water or tea.
- Avoid excessive intake of coffee and tea as they dehydrate the body.
- Though being summer fruits, avoid a lot of mango and watermelons. Too much of anything is bad, and these fruits make the stomach go weaker. Mango increases heat in the body and thus increase pimples. Watermelons increase water content and so can lead to swelling.
- Avoid buying vegetables from vendors from inside the market as they could be stale. Don’t purchase vegetables in bulk. Buy and use fresh vegetables.
- Do not store grains in monsoon.
Granny health tips
Monsoon is a beautiful weather but only if you take the right precautions and do not indulge in local eating. Follow the do’s and avoid the don’ts and try these Dadima ke tips this monsoon.
- Gargle daily with lukewarm water
- Have kadha– boil a clove, cardamom, ginger, tulsi, saffron and sugar or honey.
- Have chhach, also known as buttermilk. You can make it suit your taste buds by adding flavors like mint or zeera. This helps in digestion.
- Pomergranate juice is good for digestion, include it in your daily diet.
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