Eating during monsoons is always a little tricky. This is the season for gastro diseases, most of which are food and water related infections like typhoid, hepatitis A (in children) and hepatitis E (in adults) and gastroenteritis (commonly known as food poisoning). So during monsoons one must be doubly careful about the food they are consuming.
- Eat at home mostly, and when eating out make sure it is freshly cooked food (not raw salads etc.), and ensure that you wash hands every single time before you pickup food to eat.
- Unlike summers when foods inherently high in water content (watermelon, cucumber) are advised, during monsoons foods with low water content (besan, bhutta, dry veggies) are recommended.
- Stick to easy to digest foods (read no fried foods) as body’s digestion capability is rather compromised in this season due to high humidity. For the same reason, keep spices also a bit on the lower side.
- Avoid sour food items as they lead to water retention and as it is there is a tendency to retain water in the body during rainy season.
- During monsoon, infections are on an all-time high and immunity is on an all-time low, so include anti infection foods like garlic, onions, haldi, methi seeds and bitter gourd in your daily diet.
- Stick to seasonal foods (buy fresh and nip the temptation of gorging on out of season fruits and vegetables).
- Wash salads and leafy greens extremely well before digging in.
- Continue to hydrate yourself, even if you don’t feel thirsty. It is all the more important to have your 8 glasses of water daily (as you sweat excessively too).
- Eat more quercetin rich foods, as this compound is a known platelet booster, and thus great for our immunity. Add cocoa, cranberry juice, lemon juice, spinach, apple, prunes, peppers, red grapes, dark cherries and berries, tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, sprouts and citrus fruits.
- Probiotics help keep the gut healthy, thus help boost the immunity immensely. Daily probiotics can help restore the natural state of health that a diet of excess sugar, meat, processed foods and prescription drugs have destroyed, and keep seasonal viruses away.
Must-Have: Fermented foods, probiotic milk, ice creams, homemade curd, kimchi, miso soup, buttermilk, idli, dosa, appam, dhokla, uttapam, kanji, homemade pickles and chutneys.
And finally have lots of green tea to ensure enough antioxidants intake, and boost the immunity.
Don’t take chances with food hygiene at all. It is best to avoid eating outside your homes. If you must eat outside, choose piping hot food or only frequent your regular hygienic eating-places. Try to go easy on the gol gappas as water-born diseases are at their peak during monsoons.
At home, do not leave food unrefrigerated longer than one hour at a time to prevent bacterial growth.
Be particularly careful in handling any homemade food that contains eggs, mayonnaise or salad dressing, such as potato salads.
And of course it goes without saying that water for drinking, cooking and dishwashing must come from a safe and approved source.
My top picks of foods that must be included in our diet during this season are
- Raw mangoes
- Raw bananas
- Bitter gourd
About the author:
Kavita devgan is a renowned nutritionist, weight management consultant, a prolific speaker and a respected health columnist with DailyO, Quint, The Hindu, HT Brunch and many more.She represents many international food brands, works with multiple celebrity chefs and is the author of bestseller Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People
Video and Image: ©Team Kyaa Karein