Have the monsoon showers got you tempted to reach out for a hot cup of tea and a steaming plate of pakoras? Wait right there! While the showers are a relief from the scorching summer heat, they bring with them stomach ailments, flu and a host of other infections. So, before you set out for a long drive to devour your favourite snacks, there are a few things to keep in mind to avoid falling sick this season. Listed here are five food items that are best avoided, according to health experts.
It may seem counter-intuitive because we have always been told to eat greens to increase our immunity. However, in the monsoon they are best avoided. Say no to vegetables like spinach, cabbage and cauliflower this season. Instead go for pungent vegetables like bitter gourd (karela), bottle gourd (ghiya), ridge gourd (tori) or apple gourd (tinda). Make sure all vegetables are thoroughly washed and cooked well
Fresh Juice and Fruit Platter from Roadside Vendors
Any fresh food items that have had prolonged exposure to the monsoon air should be strictly avoided. The food not only gets contaminated but also attracts flies infested with diseases. Water logging and open gutters are a haven for mosquitoes and other insects. Stick to fresh uncut fruits thoroughly washed at home. If you want to be extra careful then soak the fruits in a large bowl, with four parts of water and one part of vinegar. Studies have shown that the vinegar rinse can reduce the pesticide residue, kill bacteria and remove fungus.
Monsoon is the breeding season for fish and prawns, so it is best avoided this time of the year. Stick to chicken and mutton to satiate your cravings. However, if you must have sea food, then it is recommended to take extra care to cook them well or have it at a tried and tested restaurant.
Yes, you heard that right. Fried food is one if the food items that you should avoid in the rainy season. The highly humid monsoon weather causes our digestion process to slow down. However irresistible the fried platter may seem, fried food could cause gastrointestinal complications like bloating and stomach upset. Extra salty food also causes water retention. Some other food items to stay away from are chaats and pani puris, as the source of water is unknown. This season brings with it lots of bacteria and insects, which can cause severe infection.
Fizzy drinks, the perfect partner to fried food, is not the safest drink specially during the rainy season. These carbonated drinks tend to reduce minerals in our body, which in turn leads to reduction of enzyme activity. With an already weak digestive system, it is highly recommended to avoid it. Stick to purified water or lemon infused water (nimbu pani) or better still prefer to consume warm beverages like ginger tea or herbal tea. Your digestive system will thank you for it.
Quick five essential tips to stay healthy this rainy season
- Refrain from heavy meals: Keep it light this season. The joy of eating a comforting plate of chhole bhatura on the roadside will be temporary because of the vulnerable digestive system during the monsoon.
- Keep exercising: Don’t let the cool and wet weather be an excuse for not exercising. Keep that exercise regime and sweat out the extra moisture and potentially harmful bacteria.
- Maintain hygiene – Personal hygiene is of paramount importance this season. There is every possibility of you having to walk through murky water or stepping into a grime puddle during the course of the day. Washing with just water is not enough. Use an anti- bacterial solution or soap to clean all those germs.
- Don’t ignore signs: This season brings with it infections galore! Cases of ear infection flu, common cold and eye infections like conjunctivitis multiply in number and no signs should be ignored.
- Be hydrated: Keep drinking water and then some more. You may not feel thirsty, but you should keep hydrating the body, otherwise it may lead to a drop in the immunity and make you lethargic.