Enjoying the first spell of monsoon showers? The slight nip in the weather comes as a welcome respite from the scorching heat. Needless to say, your chaat, pakora and street food cravings are also at an all-time high. While it is absolutely okay to indulge once in a while, if you start bingeing into them more than often, you are bound to see the impact on your health. You need to remember that the monsoon also invites a lot of health issues. As the rainy season affects the immune system of our body, it is very important to have a healthy diet.
10 Foods To Make Your Monsoon Diet Healthier
Immunity being the keyword in the current scenario, all we want now is to ensure that our innate immune system can take care of itself. So, eating right and being positive is the best way to go. Here are 10 food items that you should include in your monsoon diet to keep your immune system at its best! Learn healthy habits to boost your immunity by an expert here.
1. Green & Coloured Veggies
Include lots of green and coloured vegetables in your diet plan. They have a good amount of nutrients that will keep you fit during this season. Make sure that you wash all your vegetables with warm water or with salt to get rid of the accumulated dirt. You can blanch the vegetables to disinfect them from germs and bacteria. Blanching also helps the veggies from losing their colour, texture and flavour. Also, thoroughly wash and clean the vegetables used in making salads.
2. Probiotics & Fermented Food
You should include more probiotics and fermented food, like yoghurt, buttermilk, pickled veggies, in your diet to make sure that your gut flora is happy. Probiotics are good bacteria that live in our gut or intestinal tract. These bacteria can help fight off disease-fighting germs as well as bad bacteria from thriving in our bodies.
3. Seasonal Specials
A variety of seasonal fruits like pomegranates, plums, litchis, pears and vegetables like carrots, radish and fenugreek should be a part of your diet plan. But do not have watermelon or mangoes during this season. Consumption of bitter vegetables like karela (bitter gourd) and bitter herbs like neem and haldi (turmeric) contain antioxidants and medicinal properties that prevent you from infections.
4. Soups & Broths
Soups are ideal for monsoons. You can throw any veggies of your choice in your soup and make them delectable. Soups ensure a healthy inflow of nutrients. Do not refrain from using healing herbs and spices in your soups as they help boost immunity. Since the water content of soups is so high, they help fill you up without any major calorie overload. You can also include chai, kadhas along with soups, in your diet.
It is extremely important to drink lots of water during the monsoon season so that your system is clean. You can alternate tea and coffee with herbal drinks like jasmine tea, chamomile tea or green tea. It keeps you healthy and builds up your resistance to fight against infections. Avoid drinking too much coffee during the monsoons, as it tends to dehydrate the fluids in your body.
6. Desi Gems Like Haldi
Drink it as haldi-doodh at bedtime, add turmeric powder to your everyday food, or have freshly grated ginger-turmeric blend as a sidekick to your platter; turmeric, in any form, is excellent for your health. Not only during the monsoons, but it should be your go-to in every season. It has antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. No wonder turmeric is called the golden spice of the kitchen. Not only does it boost your natural immunity, but it takes care of your overall health. More spices and herbs like pepper, Indian basil, mint and lemongrass have antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which can help keep diseases away during the monsoon.
Lemon is pure vitamin C, and it is great for your immunity, the need of the hour. It fights infections, eases digestion, strengthens bones, and does a lot more good things for your body. And did you know that lemon zest is as nutritious as the flesh? Full of bioactive compounds and flavonoids, lemon pulp+lemon zest is an incredible addition to your monsoon diet. Sprinkle lemon juice on your food, grind lemon zest to a dish, or simply drink a glass of lemonade. This citrusy delight will take care of your nutrition and immunity.
8. Garlic & Ginger
Also named as the stinking rose, garlic comes with loads of health benefits. It fights the cold and flu-causing viruses and gives a boost to your immune system. Studies show that eating garlic on a daily basis increases the number of T-Cells in the blood, thus helping to protect you from viral infections like cold and flu. Ginger is an excellent herb with antibiotic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. It is also rich in antioxidants. No wonder, it is a go-to remedy for cold and cough, sore throat, body ache, among others, integral to every household.
9. Nuts & Dry Fruits
Munching on dates, almonds, and walnuts is a good idea, no matter what the season. As these nuts are rich in vitamins and minerals, these are great options to add to your monsoon diet. Rich in riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin E, these food items help to strengthen your immunity. Also, vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, which helps in keeping your cells healthy. If you are thinking of binge eating replace junk food and add nuts, dry fruits and seeds to your diet and make your nutrition complete with the bliss of immunity
Spinach is a superfood. It is a good source of vitamin A, E, and C, beta carotene, folic acid, and fibre. All these nutrients and antioxidants help your body to carry on its functions properly and bestow you with a great immune system thereby preparing you for the monsoons. Although you may find many references saying it’s not good to have leafy veggies during monsoons owing to the mud and dirt sticking to them, you can always make sure to wash them really well before cooking. You can even add it to your soups. If you need a little additional information on your immunity building diet, check out this list.
Foods To Avoid During The Monsoon
1. Deep-Fried Food
There is an irresistible string attached between the rains and pakoras and samosas, and everything is fried and crisp. Munching on your favourite fried food might make you feel bliss from inside your mouth, but these could make your tummy bloated. Humidity tends to slow down your metabolism, hence affecting your nutrition and immunity. Find here 10 healthy snacks to enjoy this monsoon.
2. Cold Drinks
Frizzy carbonated beverages are tempting. However, these tend to lower the mineral level in your body, resulting in lower enzyme activity and a weak digestive system. So, whenever you feel like quenching your thirst with a cold drink, reach for a glass of nimbu paani, your daily dose of vitamin C.
3. Skip Eating Outside
Try to avoid eating from outside as much as possible. Street foods like pani puri, bhel puri, sandwiches and pakoras may seem very tempting during this season but they contain bacteria that may cause indigestion. Avoid eating any kind of raw foods or pre-cut fruits during the rains, as they might have an accumulation of germs on them, which can also lead to food poisoning. Also, don’t drink water from outside. Most water-borne diseases like dysentery and cholera are caused due to impure water. Street golas, juices and kulfi should be avoided during the monsoons.
4. Avoid Fish, Unless It’s Fresh
As the rainy season happens to be the breeding time for sea fish, it’s better to avoid eating sea fish and have fresh-water fish and other forms of meat like chicken and mutton. You should be careful about the fish and prawns you consume during the monsoon season since it is their breeding season. You may end up with a stomach infection. Be careful when shopping for fish — make sure it is fresh. Avoid raw fish, especially sushi, this season.
Always remember, your nutrition and immunity depends on the food you eat. Therefore, you should be conscious of what you are feeding in. Also, find here some simple dos and don’ts for the monsoon season. In this tough time of the pandemic, when keeping your immunity uptight is highly crucial, do have a focus to maintain your healthy diet and safety as well.