Monsoon not only brings with it a respite from the scorching summer but also a range of health problems. The season sees a rise in bacterial infections, diarrhoea, gastritis, infections, cold, and flu, among a host of other illnesses. To avoid falling sick in the monsoon, we need to amp up our immune system. How does one do that? By eating healthy food. Here are some tips:
Eat Vitamin C-rich foods: Vitamin C is considered to be a potent antioxidant due to its numerous health benefits. To boost immunity, eat foods like red bell pepper, papaya, lemons, tomato and berries that have high levels of Vitamin C.
Avoid eating out: Nothing beats a good hot home-cooked meal on a rainy day. While a burger or a roadside sev puri might sound tempting, they also bring with them an array of health problems. It can cause bacterial infections leading to gut-related issues. To make home-cooked meals interesting, you can experiment by making baked cutlet, chia oats pudding, etc.
Cook food properly: Bacteria can easily cling to fresh produce that we buy from the market. Ensure that you wash and cook food properly in adequate heat temperatures.
Spice up your diet: Spices like turmeric, pepper, ginger, and garlic are good sources of antioxidants and give the immune system a much-needed boost. Use spices for seasoning your meals or make drinks like spiced concoctions (kadha) or simply add slices of ginger in lemon water and drink it in the morning. The good ol’ turmeric milk (haldi doodh) should be added to your daily diet as well. If you don’t like milk, simply add turmeric powder to the dishes.
Probiotics and fermented food: Gut health refers to the balance of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. Probiotics are high in good bacteria and keep our digestive system function in check. It supports nutrient absorption and enhances immune system. Include more probiotics and fermented food like yoghurt, buttermilk, and pickled veggies.
Nuts and dry fruits: Instead of munching on junk foods eat dates, almonds, walnuts, and seeds. They are rich in vitamins and minerals like riboflavin, niacin, and Vitamin E, and boost immunity.
Drink boiled water: Avoid drinking tap water directly. Drink only boiled or purified water.
Keep yourself hydrated: It is important to stay hydrated no matter what the season is. Consume liquids in the form of water, juices, and herb-infused water.
(Anam Golandaz, Clinical Dietician, Masina Hospital, Mumbai)