The monsoon started to rain. The change of season from an extremely hot season to a pleasant and refreshing rainy season is certainly comforting. But the rains also bring their share of health concerns. From food poisoning, diarrhea, infections, cold and flu to many other health hazards, we can fall prey to a host of health issues this season. And, when COVID-19 is wreaking havoc around the world, monsoons can be even more dangerous to your health. Therefore, you need to make sure that the food you eat strikes the best balance between nutrition and immunity.
Immunity being the buzzword in the current scenario, all we want now is to make sure our innate immune system can take care of itself. So eating right and being positive is the best way to go. Here we’ve rounded up nine food items you should include in your monsoon diet to keep your immune system at its best!
Drink it like Haldi-Doodh at bedtime, add turmeric powder to your daily food, or eat a blend of ginger and freshly grated turmeric as a side dish. Turmeric, in any form, is excellent for your health. Not just during monsoons, but it should be your choice in all seasons.
It has antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is not for nothing that saffron is called the golden spice of the kitchen. It not only boosts your natural immunity but takes care of your overall health. The potent active compound in turmeric is curcumin, which helps us stay healthy and fight infections.
#2 Probiotics and fermented foods
You should include more probiotics and fermented foods like yogurt, buttermilk, pickled vegetables in your diet to ensure your gut flora is happy. Probiotics are the good bacteria that live in our gut or intestinal tract. These bacteria can help fight disease-fighting germs as well as bad bacteria that thrive in our bodies.
#3 Lemon: Pulp + Zest
Lemon is pure vitamin C, and it’s great for your immunity, the need of the hour. It fights infections, facilitates digestion, strengthens bones and does much more good for your body.
And did you know that lemon zest is just as nutritious as meat? Full of bioactive compounds and flavonoids, lemon pulp + lemon zest is an amazing addition to your monsoon diet. Sprinkle lemon juice on your food, grind lemon zest on a plate or simply sip a glass of lemonade, this citrusy delight will take care of your nutrition and immunity.
#4 Indian Masala Chai
When the perfect oil from spices such as ginger, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, tulsi leaves and dried black pepper enters boiling water with the right proportion of tea leaves and milk, a natural immunity-boosting beverage enters. in production.
Cardamom and cloves are effective against many infections, and peppercorns prevent and relieve symptoms like colds and flu. Cinnamon is also a bank of medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties. So even if you are not a tea drinker, consider masala tea as a medical concoction and avoid monsoon side effects.
Also called smelly rose, garlic has many health benefits. It fights cold and flu-causing viruses and gives your immune system a boost. Studies show that eating garlic daily increases the number of T cells in your blood, helping to protect you from viral infections like the cold and flu. Alliin is a compound found in whole garlic. And when you crush or bite raw garlic, the alliin turns into allicin, the most potent ingredient found in garlic.
These compounds are loaded with medicinal properties and are said to increase your body’s disease-fighting response. You can reap the best benefits of garlic by eating it raw.
#6 Nuts and dried fruits
Chewing on dates, almonds and walnuts is a good idea, no matter the season. However, as these nuts are rich in vitamins and minerals, they are great options to add to your monsoon diet. Rich in riboflavin, niacin and vitamin E, these foods help to strengthen your immunity. In addition, vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, which helps keep cells healthy.
If you are thinking about binge eating, replace junk food and add nuts, dried fruits and seeds to your diet and make your nutrition complete with immunity bliss.
Spinach is a superfood. It is a good source of vitamin A, E and C, beta carotene, folic acid and fiber. All these nutrients and antioxidants help your body to perform its functions properly and give you a great immune system, preparing you for the monsoons. Although you can find many references saying that it is not good to eat leafy vegetables during monsoons due to mud and dirt stuck to them, you can always wash them very well before cooking.
#8 Bitter Gourd
While the mere mention of this vegetable might have you hiding inside your wardrobe, bitter gourds are rich in vitamin C and antivirals as well. So the next time your mom cooks, taste it. You can have it boiled, boiled with other seasonal vegetables, or fried. Whichever way you like it or not, be sure to add it to your monsoon diet.
Ginger is an excellent herb with antibiotic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It is also rich in antioxidants. It is no wonder that it is a remedy for cold and cough, sore throat, body pain, among others, an integral part of every home. Ginger is also helpful in boosting your immunity level. You can have it by steeping it in water like ginger tea, or adding it to soups and curries or with turmeric and milk as a soothing Haldi doodh.
Foods to Avoid During the Monsoon
Just as we have do’s for the monsoon diet, we also have do’s. Let’s take a look at the foods you should avoid eating during the rainy season.
- There’s an irresistible rope caught between the rains and pakoras and samosas, and it’s all fried and crispy. Chewing your favorite fried food might make you feel happiness inside your mouth, but it can make your belly bloat. Humidity tends to slow down your metabolism, affecting your nutrition and immunity.
- Fried carbonated drinks are tempting. However, these tend to lower the level of minerals in your body, resulting in lower enzyme activity and a weak digestive system. So whenever you feel like satisfying your need for a cold drink, grab a glass of nimbu paani, your daily dose of vitamin C.
- The craving for paani puri and papri chaat may comfort your taste buds, but these dishes are certainly not the right choice during monsoons, considering the hygienic factor, with the air of the global pandemic surrounding us.
- As the wet season is the breeding season for marine fish, it is best to avoid eating marine fish and eating freshwater fish and other forms of meat such as chicken and lamb.
Always remember, your nutrition and immunity depend on the foods you eat. Therefore, you must be aware of what you are eating. In this difficult time of the pandemic, when keeping your immunity high is highly crucial, also focus on your diet and safety.