After the scorching summer heat of the subcontinent, monsoon is romanticised in our memories as it brings heavy rains. The earth cools down and lush greenery sprouts everywhere. But not long into the season, its effects on our health start showing. The humidity is good for plant growth but causes a rise in fungal and bacterial growth. Lack of precautions during rainy season in keeping food and water clean can expose you to a number of gastric issues. Stagnant water in puddles hosts mosquitos that can cause several vector-borne diseases.
Though the monsoon rains are fun, this season should be enjoyed responsibly. By keeping in mind the precautions to be taken during rainy season, you can get the best of the monsoon without compromising your health.
Follow These Health Tips & Precautions During The Rainy Season
The digestive system is sensitive to infections in the monsoon. So make sure you follow a clean, light and healthy diet
- Strictly avoid eating street food or food from open vendors. There is a high chance of uncovered food to be contaminated.
- Avoid drinking water/beverages from unknown sources. Boil and drink filtered water. It is best to carry your water in this season.
- Avoid uncooked/raw food, especially from outside.
- Enrich your gut with good bacteria by consuming probiotics like yoghurt.
- Higher humidity means more sweating. So hydrate well and often to maintain the optimum water level in your body.
- Herbal teas and immunity-boosting kaadha is a good addition to your diet this season.
- Avoid eating leftovers as they are more prone to contamination.
- Put dehydrating substances like rice grains, paper napkins and oil in food items (as applicable) to prevent them from spoiling due to moisture.
2. Insect Prevention
Monsoon is the best season for insects to thrive. While it is good for them, it is definitely bad news for you
- Do not let water accumulate on pools, puddles, potholes, coolers, planters or anywhere it might be exposed. Stagnant water is breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
- Always carry an insect repellent.
- Cover all doors and windows with screens or netting to keep insects out.
- Darker clothes attract bugs. So prefer light clothes this season.
- If mosquitos thrive in a puddle near you, pour oil on the surface of the puddle to prevent them from breeding.
- Citronella, lemongrass, chia seeds (sabja), holy basil (tulsi) are some excellent natural insect-repellents; you can use them as essential oils or incense.
One of the foremost health tips for monsoon is to maintain optimum hygiene
- Whenever you come from outside, bathe with clean water to wash off dirt and sweat build-up.
- Boil neem leaves in water, sieve it and add that water to your bathing water; its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties are a boon for the monsoon.
- Avoid touching the eyes as that may cause conjunctivitis, which is a painful eye infection common in the rainy season.
- If you do catch a cold or cough, carry a clean handkerchief and change it frequently; do not come in direct contact with uninfected individuals.
- Keep dehydrated neem leaves in laundry, cupboards to prevent fungal growth.
- Dustbins should be cleaned out regularly so that insects do not breed in them.
4. Cooking Precautions
Hygiene and carefulness needs to be extended to the kitchen as well, during monsoon
- Avoid serving raw fruits and vegetables in this season as they may host larvae of insects. Wash them thoroughly and cook them, if possible.
- Fried food, meats and dehydrating beverages like tea and coffee should be avoided, to reduce stress on the digestive system.
- Cook your own meals as far as possible to ensure hygiene.
Necessary Precautions To Be Taken During The Rainy Season
Apart from general precautions that should be followed by everyone, here are health tips for monsoon considering the different activity levels and occupation types of individuals
- Make sure they wear clothes that cover the arms and legs completely; this will prevent them from insect bites.
- Their clothes in this season should be light and breathable; it will prevent any fungal infections.
- Children should thoroughly wash their hands before all meals.
- Make sure they wash their feet and arms properly after coming inside the house from school or the playground.
- Do not allow them to play in puddles of stagnant water because not only is it dirty and home to infections, the mosquito and larvae in the water can also bite them.
- Dampness in footwear can cause fungal infections in the feet and nails, so avoid walking in the rain.
- Always carry an umbrella or raincoat.
- Do not sit in damp or wet clothes in the AC or you’ll surely catch a cold.
- It is advisable to keep a clean pair of clothes and shoes at your office.
- Whenever you get wet in the rain, take a bath to remove all dirt and rainwater from the body; skipping this may cause skin allergies, itching or rashes.
- Road safety is essential but often ignored during monsoon; wet roads are slippery, do not accelerate unnecessarily, or brake suddenly.
- Make sure that the walls indoors are not damp, otherwise, they may develop mould or fungus which is detrimental for respiratory health.
- Vitamin C supplements should be taken to boost health.
- The increased humidity and coldness can cause pain in the joints, especially if arthritis is pre-existing, so make sure to keep the joints warm and covered. Regular exercise and movement will help ease the stiffness.
Vigilance is your best friend when it comes to precautions to be taken during rainy season. Prevention against common diseases and allergies can be achieved easily by following health tips for rainy season, like:
- Be mindful of what you eat and where from
- Keep your body and surroundings clean, and actively prevent agents of disease from accumulating near you
- Actively include immunity boosters in your diet to stay ahead of infections and allergies
- Be particular about hygiene in food and water as contamination in them is a major cause of gastrointestinal difficulties
Monsoon will not put a damper on your spirit if you just follow these health tips for rainy season. These small changes to your lifestyle will give you big returns in terms of health and happiness.