After the scorching summer, rainy season unarguably is the most cherished because it comes with a lot of fun-filled moments.
Rains are known to make the climate pleasant but at the same time proliferate the growth of bacteria causing a host of health problems like indigestion, food poisoning, diarrhoea, cold and flu, viral fever and other infections.
During the rains, there is a high amount of humidity in the atmosphere due to which our body becomes low on immunity, which is one of the main reasons for various common monsoon diseases like malaria, typhoid, digestion problems etc. The body’s immune system is usually compromised during the monsoon and it is important to take extra care of what you drink and eat. Dr Priti Nanda Sibal will tell you how.
Boiling water is a must during monsoon as it kills all the bacteria and germs in the water. A glass of boiled water with lemon juice early in the morning on a regular basis helps release harmful toxins from the body. It is an easy and a highly effective way of detoxifying your body.
It is also important to stay hydrated during monsoons as humidity can make your body lose a lot of water in the form of sweat. Experts recommend drinking a glass of boiled water in the morning to wake up your organs and improve your bowel movements. You can boil the drinking water to kill harmful microbes and eliminate other impurities as most illnesses are waterborne during the season. So don’t forget to drink 2 litre of filtered water a day. You can alternate tea and coffee with immunity boosting herbal drinks like tulsi tea, jasmine tea, chamomile tea or green tea to combat seasonal infections. They are
rich in antioxidants
which help in releasing toxins from the body and keep infections and flu at bay.
Add ingredients like turmeric, tulsi, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, black pepper and allow the ingredients to boil and add some lime juice and honey. It keeps you healthy and builds up your resistance to fight against infections.
Food having low or medium salt content should be consumed as those with high salt can lead to water retention, which further can spike the amount of sodium in your bloodstream, leading to higher blood pressure. Patients suffering from hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes must include a stable intake of salt in their diet. You can replace normal salt with the healthier rock salt.
Seasonal fruits like jamuns, papaya, plums, apple, pomegranate, peaches, pears should be eaten to give your body the boost of nutrition and hydration to fight with multiple infections, allergies, rashes and diseases.
The seasonal fruits can help in improving the immunity and help fight seasonal ailments by restoring energy. It is advised to wash
them with warm salt water to remove the dirt and check whether they are ripe and ready to eat. However, you have to be extra cautious while washing all your fruits and vegetables during this season.
Fruits or fresh juice sold by roadside vendors should be avoided during the rainy season as there are high chances of being prone to fatal infections during this time. It is
better to make fresh juices at home. Avoid watermelon, cucumber and muskmelon, lassi, pani puri from roadside vendors as it may cause infection and water-borne illnesses.
Avoid fried food
This might just break your heart but it is true. Deep-fried food items like pakoras, samosas and kachori should be avoided as they could cause gastronomical complications like acidity, bloating and stomach upset. Always avoid heavy and oily food as body’s digestion capacity is reduced in highly humid monsoon weather.
Opt for grilled or tandoori items that require minimum oil/butter.
Immunity food on diet
Foods which can boost immunity should be consumed. These include turmeric, garlic, seasonal berries, papaya, pumpkin, dry fruits, soups, beetroot, bitter gourd, tofu etc. They act as antiseptic and antibiotic.
Get enough sleep
Do not stay up late working or watching TV because 7-8 hours of sleep bolsters the immunity and prevents flu and common cold-like infections in monsoon.
Exercising not only makes you lose weight but also is great for immunity as well. It gets your heart racing, improves blood circulation. It also releases a lot of happy hormones like serotonin and dopamine, which fortify the immune system against viruses and bacteria. Yoga, aerobics, jumping ropes, burpees are all great exercises.
(Dr Priti Nanda Sibal is a nutrition and functional medicine expert)