Tandoori, ginger and no spice: 8 golden rules for eating healthy during monsoons
During the monsoon season we need to be careful about what we eat since there are various water borne diseases and we’re also at risk from eating contaminated food.health Updated: Aug 01, 2017 15:39 IST
Though the monsoon showers give us relief from the intense summer heat, they also bring along illnesses like food poisoning, diarrhoea, dysentery and cholera. Some of these are water-borne while others are a result of eating contaminated food. You must keep a watch on your diet in this weather to keep these diseases at bay. Here are a few basic dietary changes that will help:
1. This is a time to switch to warm beverages. Adding mint, ginger (or dry ginger powder) to your milk or tea is a great and easy way to boost immunity.
2. Try to avoid eating outside food completely. Street and junk food are overloaded with bacteria in this weather and can prove hazardous to health, particularly for those with weak immunity. Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consumption, especially leafy vegetables and cauliflower. Eat in moderation, as many a time digestion is compromised during this season and a person with a weak digestive system can find it difficult to digest heavy food.
3. Do not consume fried or oily food as it can cause acidity. Go for steamed, grilled or tandoori items as these have relatively lesser amount of oil and butter. Using a lot of spices and salt while cooking can cause water retention and bloating.
4.Avoid sour foods like tamarind (imli), chutneys, and pickles as these also promote water retention. The Indian kitchen is full of alternatives such as garlic, pepper, ginger, asafoetida, turmeric, coriander, and jeera, which not only enhance digestive power but also boost immunity. Honey can be used in most preparations as it helps keep the intestines clean and aids digestion.
5. Eat foods that are dry in nature such as makka (corn), chana (chickpea), besan (gram flour), and jow (oats). Do not eat cut fruits and vegetable outside home as there is a higher likelihood of bacterial growth and infection. At home, you can blanch the cut vegetables to disinfect them from germs and bacteria without losing colour, texture, and flavour. Have lighter meat preparations such as soups and stews rather than heavy curries.
6. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. The water should ideally be boiled and filtered before consumption. Avoid having dairy products in large amounts as they tend to harbor germs in this weather. Do not go for fizzy drinks as they sap the minerals in the body, which in turn leads to reduction of enzyme activity. Keep a bottle of water or nimbu paani handy or stick to warm beverages like ginger tea.
7. Eating bitter vegetables such as bitter gourd and adding herbs like neem (basil), methi (fenugreek) seeds, and haldi (turmeric) to food can help fight infection. Consume only freshly cooked food and not items that have been stored in the fridge for long. If you must eat refrigerated food, heat it gradually and thoroughly before consumption.
8. While you may be tempted to gorge on bhaijyas, pakoras, and other such foods during monsoons, temper that hearty appetite with a dose of caution. This season is all about diseases, particularly of the digestive system. Never eat when you are not hungry. Eating in excess and eating outside in the monsoon is an invitation to indigestion and accompanying illnesses.
Just follow these simple tips, eat healthy, and enjoy the weather in its full glory.
Lalitha Subramanyam is Chief Nutritionist at Grow Fit
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