The first rain is a sign of happiness and relief from the scorching sun and unbearable heat. It marks the arrival of the much-awaited monsoon season. But with the cooling effect on the climate, monsoon also brings in a few health risks. This change in weather spreads infections and can take a toll on our immunity. Infections, food poisoning, cold, flu, etc., are pretty common during the rainy season. Hence, it is important to be extra attentive to our diet.
A few precautions and healthy meals can ensure that you make the most of the beautiful weather. So, let’s discuss what to eat during the rainy season to stay fit and safe:
1. Seasonal Fruits
With monsoon, we are prone to allergies, rashes, viral infections, and digestive difficulties. To improve the immune system and protect yourself from health issues, include monsoon fruits in your daily diet. Eat seasonal fruits, such as cherries, apples, plums, jamuns, pomegranates, etc., as these fruits are rich in minerals and vitamins and are packed with plant compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They also boost your energy level and keep you fit and active all day.
Turmeric is a golden spice that can be commonly found in any kitchen. You can consume it in any form throughout the year, and its miraculous benefits need no introduction. Ground turmeric is purifying; hence, it helps to boost your immunity and keep health issues at bay. Moreover, it prevents infections and takes care of your health in the best way possible. As it is an excellent source of anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal extracts, it also fights infections. A great way to consume turmeric is in a glass of milk. Or you can also take a spoonful with water the last thing before you sleep for added health and skin benefits.
We must consume our daily dose of protein during the monsoon as this nutrient develops white blood cells that fight infections and heal or build tissues. Along with eating the monsoon season fruits, add a good source of protein to your daily diet. Paneer, walnuts, sprouts, almonds, sattu, pulses, lentils, chia seeds, milk, and yoghurt, are great options. These protein-rich sources help you stay fit and recover from illness in no time. You can incorporate them into your meals in the form of salads, sandwiches, soups, rolls, pudding, smoothies, and more.
The rainy season tempts us to eat comforting and warm foods, especially something fried like bhajias. We also tend to indulge more in street food for these fried goodies while it drizzles. These fried foods are not only heavy and difficult to digest, but when not cooked at home, they also tend to bring in more infections during the rainy season. A better alternative is soups – they are just as warm and comforting, without all the unhealthy properties. Make sure to have a bowl of soup for dinner or in the evening as part of your diet during the monsoon season to stave off untimely hunger pangs. Soups are easy to digest, filling, and packed with nutrients, thus, keeping you and your stomach happy. Try vegetable corn soup garnished with garlic, black pepper, and ginger for added health benefits.
5. Dry fruits and Nuts
Replace your unhealthy munching with dry fruits, which can include everything from dates and peanut butter to almonds and walnuts, as well as other nut butters with fruits like apples and bananas. These nuts are rich in minerals, vitamins, niacin, and riboflavin. Hence, they strengthen your immune system giving a boost to your immunity. Also, dry fruits are packed with antioxidants, so they keep your cells healthy. So, next time you feel hungry, snack on some nuts – they are a much better option compared to other junk foods.
Do’s and Don’ts to Stay Safe and Healthy during the Monsoon
- Steam or re-heat your food before consumption.
- It’s normal to feel less thirsty during the rainy season as the temperature drops, but ensure that you stay hydrated. Keep a water bottle with you always and add fluids to your meals to feel energetic throughout the day.
- Monsoon is an ideal season for insects and microorganisms to breed. Hence, ensure you wash and clean your vegetables and fruits well and take all the food safety measures.
- Add clove to your curries and soups as it boosts immunity.
- The more colours on your plate, the more nutrients you add to your diet. It creates a better immune response which is undoubtedly a necessity during the rainy season. Therefore, include green and colourful veggies and seasonal fruits as much as you can in your diet.
- Avoid extra sodium common in packaged foods and junk food preparations as it can lead to water retention and bloating.
- Avoid eating out and try to consume fresh home-cooked meals instead.
- Be extra careful with the water you drink and make sure to boil the water before drinking it if needed.
- Take extra care in preparing and storing food during the monsoon season. The added humidity tends to easily bring in mould and microorganisms that are harmful to foods, so refrigerate your food as needed and use tightly sealed containers.
A little change in your lifestyle and a bit of awareness towards your health can safeguard you and your family against monsoon infections and diseases. Consume nutritional foods and be creative while including the aforementioned foods in your monsoon diet to make your meals interesting. Also, pay heed to hygiene to avoid and the rainy season to its best.
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