Monsoon is all about sudden showers, a hot cuppa with fritters, and never-ending conversations. But, it is also when seasonal illnesses like dengue, malaria, diarrhea, among others, spread widely. Hence, keeping yourself healthy and fit during these rainy months is extremely necessary.
“The drastic fluctuation in temperature and humidity, which happens during the rainy season, lowers the body’s immunity and makes it susceptible to bacterial and viral attack,” Dr Rachna Agarwal, a nutritionist, said.
To prevent such infections and seasonal woes, one must add certain immunity boosters to their diet. “It’s time to update your grocery list with these ingredients to beat the seasonal ailments this monsoon,” nutritionist Lovneet Batra wrote on Instagram.
The experts suggested the following ingredients to keep seasonal diseases at bay this monsoon!
Tulsi: Indian basil or tulsi is regarded as a holy herb. It helps relieve stress, and boost energy levels. Having “antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties” it can do wonders for our body, Lovneet Batra wrote.
Agreeing, Dr Agarwal said that it can also regulate blood sugar levels. “Diabetics should regularly consume fresh Tulsi leaves,” she told indianexpress.com. However, she cautioned that the leaves should not be directly chewed as they can damage the enamel of the teeth. “Ideally, one must crush four to five leaves and drink the ‘aark’ or boil the leaves in water and then drink it,” she said.
Garlic: Calling garlic “a miracle food,” Lovneet Batra added that “allicin, a compound present in garlic, helps to boost the immune system and thus protect our body against various infections.”
It is also “anti-fungal and antiseptic in nature, and helps strengthen immunity”, Dr Agarwal said, adding that its antioxidant properties can help “prevent certain cognitive diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.” She further suggested eating garlic pods on an empty stomach.
Ginger: Ginger is packed with “gingerols, paradols, sesquiterpenes, shogaols, and zingerone, all of which have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties,” according to Lovneet Batra. Besides, she said that ginger also “improves assimilation and transportation of nutrients to the body’s tissues” which can help in keeping flu and cold at bay.
Calling it a “good probiotic”, Dr Agarwal concurred, “It boosts our immunity, digestion, and may help in seasickness and nausea. A daily rinse of ginger water after meals cures gum infections.”
Black Pepper: Experts believe that black pepper contains carminative qualities that help in lowering the likelihood of intestinal gas and other gastrointestinal issues like constipation. It not only has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-bacterial, and fever-reducing qualities, but it also boosts the immune system and prevents insomnia. “Freshly ground pepper is the best way to use it,” Dr Agarwal said.
Turmeric: Calling it a “miracle herb” Lovneet Batra said, “Its anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-bacterial extracts can help you fight infections and boost immunity.” Turmeric is rich in nutrients and hence is good for overall well-being.
“Curcumin in turmeric is the best cure for any kind of inflammation in the body. However it is absorbed in the bloodstream in combination with ghee or black pepper, so simply eating haldi powder will never help. Either sauté it in ghee or boil it in water with pepper,” Dr Agarwal suggested.