Wow…Monsoons are finally here…we all eagerly look forward to the monsoon season to get relief from the scorching heat of the summers. It’s time to indulge in some nice hot pakoras, chai and butta on the streets while soaking up in the rain.
As much as we enjoy the monsoons, it is at this time when the humidity levels in the atmosphere are the highest resulting in poor digestion and reduced immunity which makes us susceptible to diseases associated with this season. It is important to eat foods which help boost our immunity and prevent us from contracting monsoon related ailments such as malaria, dengue, jaundice, indigestion, diarrhoea and other water borne diseases.
Here are some precautions and dietary modifications which you and your family members must take to boost immunity
Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly, particularly leafy vegetables· & cauliflower .It is better to opt for non-leafy vegetables such as gourd vegetables like snake gourd, bottle gourd, apple gourd( tinda), bitter gourd(karela) ,cluster beans, french beans ,yam etc.
It is best to avoid uncooked food, raw salads and sprouts .It is advisable to steam the veggies and sprouts well before consuming them.·
Opt for seasonal fruits like bananas, apples, litchis, cherries, plums and pomegranates as the non seasonal ones may be infested with worms·
Consuming a bowl of hot soup is healthy, especially during the monsoon months.·
Include coloured fruits and vegetables like pumpkin, bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, papaya which are rich in antioxidants and boost immunity.·
Include foods rich in Vit C like orange, sweet lime, lemon, gooseberry, bell pepper, berries, tomato, dark leafy vegetables, cashew fruit ,kiwi, strawberry, Brussel sprouts, broccoli etc. which help boost immunity
Foods rich in zinc such as nuts, whole grains, legumes, yeast, dairy products also help boost immune function and must be incorporated in the diet.·
Sip on herbal teas; add mint , basil or ginger to tea as they are antibacterial in nature·
Garlic, pepper, ginger, asafoetida (hing), cumin seeds/powder, turmeric, lemongrass, basil and coriander should be used in cooking as they help enhance digestion and improve immunity.·
Stick to freshly cooked food, but if you prefer to store cooked food in the fridge, heat it well before eating.·
Drink only boiled and filtered water, and make sure that it is consumed within 24 hours of boiling. Drink adequate water as it helps to maintain hydration and flushes all the toxins including germs and bacteria away.·
Avoid eating chaats, fried items such as pakoras, pre-cut fruits and juices from roadside vendors. When eating out, choose restaurants that conform to basic standards of quality and hygiene, in order to avoid contracting serious infections such as viral fever, diarrhoea and other water borne diseases.·
Use mosquito repellants, creams and nets if you live in mosquito-prone areas or places with stagnant water.·
Do not allow your children to play in puddles as leptospirosis in the monsoons is a major threat. Wash feet and dry feet well with a soft, dry cloth after coming home from out·
You can have a tablespoon of chyavanprash and a wheatgrass shot every morning.·
Dengue is a viral illness transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. Symptoms include high fever, joint pain, muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.
Here are some of the dietary suggestions if you are
Have a soft balanced diet·
Include easy to digest foods like boiled vegetables, soft khichdi ,buttermilk, probiotic curd and soups·
Eat· small frequent meals as one may not be able to eat too much at one time due to decreased appetite and nausea.
Drink adequate fluids like coconut water, lemon juice, fruit juices, ORS and soups to keep you hydrated and flush out toxins from the body·
Consumptions of green leafy vegetables, cod liver oil, flax seed oils and fresh fruits and fruit juices help to improve platelet count and reduce inflammation in the body·
Papaya leaf juice and dragon fruit is known to increase white blood cells and platelets·
Include immune boosting foods like ginger, garlic, cinnamon, gooseberries, citrus fruits and fruit juices to recover fast and avoid a relapse.·
Try these immune boosting juice combinations like·
Beetroot + Carrot + Spinach + Amla + Ginger
Apple + Beetroot + Carrot + Ginger + Lemon+ Celery
Here is an immunity Booster Mixture which you can add to your meals
6 parts turmeric·
3 parts ground cumin·
3 parts ground coriander·
6 parts ground fennel (Badisauf)·
1 part powdered, dry ginger (Sunt)·
1 part ground black pepper·
¼ part ground cinnamon·
Mix the spices together well.·
Heat one teaspoon of the spice mixture in one tablespoon of ghee, using medium-high heat, until the mixture releases an aroma. Remove from the heat immediately so it won't burn.·
Add this spiced ghee to cooked rice, vegetables, or other foods.·