Monsoon in India is always much awaited as they provide relief from the hot Indian summers. However, monsoons have their own drawbacks, especially as far as food is concerned. The damp and wet weather leads to the rise of germs and diseases like indigestion, conjunctivitis, typhoid and dengue to name some.
“Monsoon is the time for germs and bacteria to thrive in unhygienic conditions. During the rains, there is a high amount of humidity in the atmosphere due to which our digestive system gets sluggish.”
Hence, during this season, it’s important to keep one’s health strong by observing certain food habits while avoiding some at the same time.
Instead of thinking just about what to exclude completely from your diet during monsoon, you should concentrate on healthy practices that ensure good health and safety.
Here are 8 common dietary mistakes people usually make during monsoons, but shouldn’t.
1.Sip Up Monsoon Drink
Honey and ginger are the perfect cure for a sore throat. Grate half a ginger, add a spoonful of honey for the perfect natural remedy. A great substitute for sugar, raw honey is a natural sweetener that is free from fat, cholesterol and sodium.
Also boiling water is a must-have during monsoons, which helps to kill harmful bacteria and germs in the water.
2.Munch on Nuts
Munching on dates, almonds, and walnuts is a good idea, no matter what the season. However, as these nuts are rich in vitamins and minerals, these are great options to add to your monsoon diet. Rich in riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin E, these food items help to strengthen your immunity. Also, Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, which helps in keeping your cells healthy.
3.Spice Up Your Food
Include immunity-boosting spices in your food like turmeric, mustard, asafoetida (hing), coriander, turmeric, cloves, pepper, cinnamon, garlic, ginger and curry leaves. These help in digestion and have anti-bacterial properties. Foods having low or medium salt content should be consumed as foods having a high salt content can lead to water retention and high blood pressure.
Also read: Spices With Most Powerful Health Benefits
4.Stock up on Antioxidant-Rich Food
Foods rich in antioxidants such as bitter gourd, seasonal berries, neem and pumpkin should be consumed to stay healthy, prevent infections and boost your immunity. Have lots of green tea to up your antioxidant stock. Add cocoa, cranberry juice, lemon juice, spinach, apple, prunes, peppers, red grapes, dark cherries and berries, tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, sprouts and citrus fruits.
Fruits and green leafy vegetables are essential to have during monsoons that help to restore energy.
5.Have More Easy-To-Digest Food
In this humid weather, the body’s digestion capacity reduces. Hence, fried food should be avoided as it can lead to indigestion and unrest in the stomach. Steamed, boiled or grilled foods are the best for this weather. Raw foods should also be avoided, especially cut fruits and vegetables and juices from roadside stalls and carts as there is a high risk of water contamination which in turn can lead to water-borne diseases. Lighter preparations like stews and soups should be consumed.
It is extremely important to drink lots of water during the monsoons so that your system is clean. You can alternate tea and coffee with herbal drinks like jasmine tea, chamomile tea or green tea. It keeps you healthy and builds up your resistance to fight against infections. Avoid drinking too much coffee during the monsoons, as it tends to dehydrate the fluids in your body. Anti-bacterial herbal teas like honey, mint, ginger and pepper are a must-have, as they’re good antioxidants as well, and can help to boost immunity.
7.Take Care of Your Gut
Probiotics help keep the gut healthy and help boost immunity immensely. In fact, the health of our immune system depends immensely on the state of our gastro-intestinal system, so steeling up the gut is a good idea. Daily probiotics can help restore the natural state of health — that a diet of excess sugar, meat, processed foods and prescription drugs may have destroyed — and keep seasonal viruses away. Have fermented foods, probiotic milk, ice creams, homemade Dahi, kombucha, miso soup, buttermilk, idli, dosa, appam, dhokla, uttapam, kanji, homemade pickles and chutneys.
8.Indian masala chai
When the perfect olio of spices, like ginger, clove, cinnamon, cardamom, tulsi leaves, and dried black pepper, goes into the boiling water with the right proportion of tea leaves and milk, a natural immunity-boosting brew goes in the making.
Cardamom and cloves are effective against many infections, and peppercorns prevent and soothe symptoms like cold and flu. Cinnamon is a bank of medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties too. So, even if you are not a tea drinker, consider masala tea as a medical concoction and steer the side effects of monsoon away.
Holistic Food Remedies For Monsoon Flu:
Cold & Cough: Boil water with dry ginger for immediate relief
Sore Throat: Gargle with lukewarm saline water
Viral Fever: Boil tulsi, ginger and honey and drink the juice
Skin Infection: Boil neem leaves in water and takes a bath with it
List of foods recommended to eat during monsoons:
• Grains — Red rice, Sathi Rice, Wheat, Jowari ( Great millet).
• Vegetables: Bottle Gourd ( Dudhi), Snake Gourd ( Padwal), Okra ( Bhindi) Dodka, Ghosali
• Legumes: Split pigeon pea, Green Gram, Koolith, Black Gram
• Tubers: Garlic, Onion, Ginger, Suran
• Fruits: Dates, Grapes, Coconut, Mulberry.
• Milk and milk products Cow milk, Buttermilk, Ghee
• Other Things Rock salt, Coriander, Cumin, jaggery, Mint, Asafoetida, ( Hing), Black pepper, Piper Longum, ( Pippali)
• Boiled warm water
List of foods that are not palatable with your digestive system during monsoon:
• Grains: raagi, Bajari ( Pearl millet), Maize, Barley.
• Vegetables: Spinach, Bitter Gourd ( Karela), Chavlai, Cabbage, Dry Vegetables.
• Legumes: Matki, Vaal, Vatana (Peas), Lentil ( Masur), Gram ( Chana)
• Tubers: Potato, Shingada, Sabudana, kamalkanda, Arum, Carrot.
• Fruits: Black Plum ( Jambul), Jackfruit, Cucumber, watermelon, Muskmelon.
• Buffalo Milk, Paneer.
• Other things Sweets, Fried Food, Shrikhand
Always remember, your nutrition and immunity depends on the food you eat.
Therefore, you should be conscious of what you are feeding in. In this tough time of the pandemic, when keeping your immunity uptight is highly crucial, do have a focus on your diet and safety as well.
By Priyanshi Bhatnagar