Monsoon is the time when the rains bring respite from the heat and dust. It is also the time to make small changes in our routine to get the best out of the weather. The wet season makes us more prone to infections, sore throats, fevers, fungal attacks, urine problems and water retention. All of these then quite literally put a dampener on our enjoyment of the rains. Follow these tips to shine when the clouds are grey.
WATCH WHAT YOU EAT
Consume herbs and beverages that help the body lose excess water. Jasmine tea is particularly good at flushing out excess fluid. Similarly a decoction of ginger,
peppermint and dandelion leaf is an excellent diuretic. Dandelion leaf is available at most health food stores across the country now.
Avoid salt and spices at night. Ending your day on a spicy note can cause the body to retain water. This makes you puffy the next morning, and is easily avoided if you go easy on the salt the previous night. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you abstain from salt entirely (it is essential for good health). Just keep it to a minimum at dinner time.
Lost in maize: Steamed corn is healthy and yummy
Stick to foods that are seasonal. Snack on roasted corn, steamed corn, roasted peanuts and roasted channa when it’s wet outside. Steaming or roasting also helps avoid butter or oil in the meal.
If your water-retention problems are causing unnecessary weight gain, you’ll need a stronger remedy. Take one teaspoon of triphala with one teaspoon of wheat bran with two tablets of guggul to let go of excess fat and waste. It will prevent the kilos adding up.
Avoid pickles and store grains and other foodstuffs in air-tight containers. Always use a dry spoon to serve yourself to prevent fungus growing inside the bottle.
TOE the line: Keep your feet dry to prevent fungus and skin infections
Monsoon is when people are prone to fungal skin infections, especially between the webs of the toes. Dry your feet well and dust anti-bacterial powder on them. The powder, when mixed with standard deodorant talcs is very effective at preventing dampness on the underarms as well.
Avoid stepping into an air-conditioned environment with wet hair or clothing as you may catch a chill. Keep spare clothes in your office so you can change into something dry at work. At home, keep a towel by the door for wet hair and feet.
KEEP IT CLEAN
The environment is now rich with bacteria, viruses and fungi. Avoid eating street food and avoid dairy products from outside vendors as they are more likely to have infection-causing germs. Say no to cheese, paneer, milk or curd when you eat outside, as it gets infected with bacteria very quickly.
Give your bath an antiseptic boost by soaking neem leaves in the bath water overnight. Keep your hair free from damp-loving bacteria by switching to hair oil that has a few neem leaves crushed into it.
From HT Brunch, June 30
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