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It’s raining myths

Don’t fall for every monsoon-related health warning; we talk to an expert to find out which are genuine.

health-and-fitness Updated: Jul 05, 2013 18:01 IST
Petrina D’Souza
Petrina D’Souza
Hindustan Times

Don’t fall for every monsoon-related health warning; we talk to an expert to find out which are genuine

Don’t get drenched in the first shower, don’t consume leafy vegetables, monsoons give you joint pain — With the rains come a host of monsoon-related popular myths. But how many of these are actually genuine? Dr Nupur Krishnan, nutritionist and director of Biologics Nutrition Clinic, clarifies a few of the myths and separates the true from the false.

Myth: Leafy vegetables become usafe for consumption during monsoons
Fact: false
People begin avoiding leafy vegetables owing to their fear that the humid temperature might lead to the development of germs in the vegetables. But this isn’t true. Instead a thorough washing should rid the vegetables of any dirt and germs present on their surface.Wash leafy vegetables with a potassium permanganate disinfectant. But try to avoid cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli as they contain hidden worms. Do not consume too many raw salads as they might lead to dysentery and infections; instead consume steamed vegetables and herb salads and soups.

Myth: Weather-related joint pain is typically experienced during the monsoons
Fact: true
Humidity levels are high during the monsoon. Also when the atmospheric pressure changes, the amount of fluid in the joints, or the pressure inside them fluctuates with it. Individuals with arthritic joints experience these changes more, because they have less cartilage to provide cushioning. Sometimes the pain is due to inflammatory mediators around the joint, like with rheumatoid arthritis, and can often be helped by keeping the joints warm or icing them (depending on your preference) and massage therapy. Try to consume protein-rich food such as soy bean products, tofu and egg. People who suffer from arthritis should drink warm water with some tulsi leaves and cinnamon in the morning, on an empty stomach.

Myth: Sitting under a fan or an AC vent when drenched in the rain gives you fever
Fact: false
Our immunity tends to go down with sudden changes in temperature, leaving the body vulnerable to attacks from the cold virus. This may explain why we often fall prey to the common cold during rains and in winter. This, of course, has nothing to do with sitting under a fan or near an AC vent. However, while the cold air from an AC vent may not give you a fever, if the air being circulated within an air-conditioned environment has the cold virus, that gets circulated as well. This could lead you to catch a cold.

Myth: You will catch a cold and flu if you get drenched in the rains
Fact: false
It has been a long-running belief that people catch a cold whenever they get drenched during the rains. While this statement may be partially true, the fact is that it’s the fluctuation in your surrounding temperatures that leads to you developing a cold.India, owing to its tropical location, has a hot and humid atmosphere. The rains, however, bring with them considerably cold temperatures, and it is this sudden change in the weather that causes sniffles and sneezes along with a running nose.

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