Eat Right, Stay Healthy This Monsoon

The much-awaited monsoons have arrived. For most of us, rains bring respite after the scorching heat we’ve all experienced through the summer. There’s just so much joy from the simple pleasure of conjuring delightful images of curling up in a cosy rajai (blanket) with a good book, eating hot crispy snacks like pakodas, samosas and vada-pavs and sipping on your favourite masala chai.

But are these oily snack foods the right choice in monsoons? Food and nutritionist consultant, Sangeeta Khanna, in “A Guide to Eating Right During Monsoon”, rightly highlights on “old sayings in Hindi about eating seasonal foods, and one of those prohibit consuming saag (leafy greens) in the month of Shravan and dahi (yoghurt) during Bhadrapad. According to the Hindu calendar, both the months fall during monsoon.” Even the most important festival observed in the Jain community, Paryushan Parv, where leafy greens are avoided, is observed this time of the year.

“The reason being leafy greens gets contaminated easily when the fields are waterlogged. Same is the case with homemade yoghurt, which gets contaminated with Streptococci (causes strep throat and several other infections) and becomes gluey during this time.” says Sangeeta.

Health risks are heightened during the rainy season, which is a perfect breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Eating what’s seasonally right and maintaining a healthy monsoon diet becomes even more essential to prevent monsoon related illnesses.

What NOT to eat in monsoons:

1. Leafy greens

Instinctively, we think green equals healthy. While that’s true for the most part of the year, these leafy vegetables should be avoided in rainy days because they contaminate easily. The raw green coriander chutney that comes with crispy street food is better to be given a miss. Salads should also be avoided this season.

2. Street food

Love your street food? We all do! But these irresistible fried samosas, pakodas and kachoris, cause gastronomical complications like bloating and can also lead to stomach infections. Highly humid monsoon weather causes the digestion process to slow down. Eating pani puri is a complete no-no as it easily contracts diarrhea and other water borne diseases.

3. Anything raw (especially off the streets)

Raw food, including fresh fruit juices especially from roadside stalls, should be avoided in the monsoons as the air and water can both have a high prevalence of germs and bacteria and can lead to ailments such as jaundice and typhoid.

4. Sea food

Clamp the seafood cravings for a few months because of the contamination and exercise even more caution with prawns and fish because monsoon is their breeding season. This is partly the reason why the availability of fresh sea food is scarce. If you still can’t resist, ensure that its fresh or else consuming sea food during monsoon can cause food poisoning.

5. Yoghurt

The fermentation in yoghurt can increase acidity. People suffering from migranes and sinusitis should avoid having yoghurt and yoghurt based drinks like chaas or lassi as it increases cough.

What TO eat (or drink) in monsoons:

1. Soups

A bowl of hot soup with a dash of minced garlic will not only keep you away from colds and flus, but also energize you and keep you warm. If you have a throat infection, the bowl of hot soup could also fill you up with healthy calories.

2. Herbal Tea

Nothing can beat a cup of hot tea during the monsoon season. Herbal teas have antibacterial properties that keep you away from fungal and bacterial infections. They also help in easy digestion of food.

3. Steamed food

The best foods to consume during monsoon are those which are either steamed or grilled. South Indian rasams and sambhars are particularly soothing during this time of the year! Want to have something fancy or chatpata then grill some paneer or chicken tikka skewers with spices that are sure to make you drool.

4. Khichdi

The hearty one-pot meal is classic and light to the stomach. Khichdis are no longer about being a boring combination of only rice and dals. One can incorporate indigenous ingredients like fried veggies or tamarind to add a deeper flavor in a basic dish.

5. Water

Up your water intake to avoid getting cramps, headaches or even blood pressure fluctuations. Drinking plenty of (clean and safe) water can help you stay hydrated throughout the monsoon. Fluctuating temperatures combined with extremely humid conditions, can easily cause dehydration.

Tags: , , ,

Related Posts

Healthy New Year
Tips For A Healthy New Year

Happy New Year! Or shall we say, Healthy New Year! With the New Year in

Soaking Lentils
Soaking Impacts Nutritive Value

Soaking grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds is a traditional practice that can positively

Heart Healthy Diet
Super Foods For A Heart Healthy Diet

A balanced heart healthy diet combined with regular exercise is necessary to keep us

Cooking Oil
Why Rancid Cooking Oil is Bad For You?

When it comes to the health of our families, we make sure we purchase

Making Food Less Nutritious
10 Unknowing Ways We Make Food Less Nutritious

Many of us are highly concerned about what we cook and when we cook,

Healthy Eating
Can a ‘Junk Food Tax’ Work?

Kerala becomes the first state in the country to introduce a ‘fat’ tax on

Why Your Random Eating Schedule Is Risky for Your Health
Why Your Random Eating Schedule Is Risky for Your Health

Do you ever postpone dinner because you’re in the middle of a project? Or skip breakfast

Oil Free Cooking
The Big “Fat” Truth – Cooking Without Oil

What’s the first thing you think of doing when you commit getting fit and