Monsoons are here, bringing refreshing rains and much-needed relief from sweltering summer. But this season also brings along a spectrum of health woes. From seasonal cold, flu, typhoid, mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, dengue, and stomach infections are very common in monsoon. Moreover, in this time of COVID-19 Pandemic, which is already wreaking havoc on your health, monsoon related diseases could be even more distressing your overall health. Hence, you need to ensure that the food you eat strikes the right balance between nutrition and immunity.
Bolstering the immune system is the key mantra in the current scenario, which helps the body to build resistance and combat infections. Practising mindful eating behaviours, choosing seasonal foods, staying physically active and being positive is the best way to maintain good health status.
As per the holistic science of Ayurveda, the concept of eating balanced meals according to the seasons is known as ritucharya, that acclimatise the immune system and mind in line with the needs of the season. This practice is considered to be healthy and efficient in averting diseases, particularly during seasonal change. Thus, to stay disease-free, it is essential to follow a ritucharya diet that allows adding certain foods in the diet and emphasizes avoiding some foods.
Read through this article to get an overview of the best foods to be added into your diet regimen during monsoon season, which helps to boost immunity and keep infections at bay.
Foods To Include In Your Monsoon Diet
Some of the food groups that should be incorporated in plenty in the meal plan include:
Drinking enough safe, potable water is as vital as consuming warm, freshly made kadha, concoctions, herbal teas, broths, and soups. These drinks are rehydrating that maintain electrolyte balance, detoxifies the system and essential for building a robust immune system.
Adding seasonal fruits like jamun, pears, plum, cherries, peaches, papaya, apples, and pomegranates supports meeting the increasing demands of nutrients like vitamins A, C, antioxidants, and fibre. These fruits aids to improve digestion, maintain gut flora and triggers the immune response.
Monsoon is the time of gourds like bottle gourd, bitter gourd, ash gourd, ridge gourd, snake gourd, and other veggies that are available in plenty includes cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, okra and radish. Adding these veggies liberally to your regular diet plan aids to foster good gut health and immune activity.
Spices and herbs like turmeric, ginger, garlic, pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg are bestowed with anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-bacterial and immune-boosting activities. They work amazingly well to support the immune system by regulating immune cells like T-cells that helps the body to defend off the pathogens. Add these spices generously in your regular cooking during this weather and uplift your overall health.
Nuts and seeds are loaded with proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You should have them during every season to maintain good physical and mental health.
Laden with a treasure trove of nutrients, garlic is best known to combat the common cold and flu and triggers your immunity. Even studies reveal that adding garlic to your daily diet increases the T cells in the blood, thereby aiding to safeguard you from viral attacks. Allicin is the most powerful bioactive compound in garlic that is heaped with medicinal traits and uplifts the disease-combatting response of the system.
Potent antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory qualities of turmeric trigger your immune system naturally and combats infections. Drinking turmeric milk or adding this golden spice powder to your daily meal is an excellent way for boosting your overall health. Turmeric is a sure-shot remedy for all your monsoon-related illnesses.
Fermented foods like yogurt, buttermilk, and pickled vegetables are good sources of probiotics that are sure to keep your gut flora healthy. Probiotics are good bacteria that help fend off disease-causing pathogens and other harmful bacteria from the system.
Boast with the goodness of vitamin C, potent antioxidant lemons are a great addition to your monsoon diet that help to enhance immune response and keep infections at bay. Simply drizzle lemon juice on your food, add lemon zest to any dish or drink a glass of lemonade, this citrusy fruit takes care of your nutrition and health.
Foods to Avoid During Monsoon
There are several unhealthy eating practices that one should avoid, as these food habits are more prone to increase your risks of contracting infections during the monsoon season.
Avoid eating food at restaurants as well as street food stalls, as the temperature during monsoon is ideal for bacterial and fungal growth and there is an increased risk of food and waterborne infections.
Avoid Eating Fried Foods
It is fine to have fried foods like samosa or pakoras occasionally during this season in moderate amounts, as having these foods in excess quantities can lead to several gastrointestinal woes like indigestion, bloating, diarrhoea, and other issues. Also ensure to avoid reusing fried oil, as it can be toxic to your health.
Not Washing Vegetables
The temperature and humidity of this season are favourable to bacterial and fungal growth, especially on green leafy vegetables. Thus, it is important to wash these veggies thoroughly and cook them on high heat before eating.