From cold, flu, and typhoid, to mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, dengue, and even stomach infections, the monsoon is known to bring along a host of illnesses.
As such, it is important to support your body with the right food and build up an impermeable immune response, said dietitians Kajal Wattamwar and Bushra Qureshi, co-founders of Healthy Steady Go.
But, unlike in other seasons, consuming green leafy vegetables is not recommended in the monsoon as they can be a breeding ground for many bacteria and fungi which thrive in humid and wet weather. The same goes for seafood, as the risk of infection is quite high in monsoons due to water contamination.
“So, make sure you compensate for the foods you will avoid in monsoons. To do that, add the following to your meal plan,” they suggested.
Most rainy season fruits, such as jamun, cherries, pear, plum, peaches, fresh dates, and pomegranate, are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. The best way to consume them is as a whole; avoid juicing. Other than strengthening immunity, they are also good for skin health.
Monsoon is also known for vegetables like bottle gourd, bitter gourd, tinda and parwal. To this bounty, add colourful veggies like tomato, lady finger, radish, cucumber, and brinjals. Also, instead of enjoying deep-fried chips or French fries, make baked or air-fried sweet potato wedges. It will help keep your cravings and weight, both in check!
Have a warm cup of kadha infused with the goodness of herbs and spices like cloves, turmeric, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom and so much more. This will not only help build your immune system, but will also keep you warm. You can add a dash of jaggery for sweetness.
By adding kadha to your monsoon diet, you are already one step ahead in your healthy monsoon journey. You can further push this by incorporating superfoods like vitamin C rich amla or omega 3 rich flaxseeds/almonds/walnuts.
One of the most important yet forgotten nutrient is water. Since the climate is humid, most people do not feel thirsty. However, it’s extremely important to drink water to clear the gut, for the smooth passage of faecal matter, and also to prevent bacterial overgrowth in the gut.
You can also keep yourself hydrated with a glass of buttermilk or coconut water — which are great probiotics and electrolytes, respectively.
Ensure to thoroughly clean all the foods you consume to prevent any bacterial infection. This is not the season to indulge in salads or vegetables juice (especially bought from outside).
Roasted corn can also be enjoyed in the rainy season as it is a healthy snacking option that is rich in antioxidants like lutein. It is also a rich source of dietary fibre that will promote good bacterial growth in your gut and improve digestion.