KOCHI: It’s the time of the year you wake up to the pitter-patter of rain and crave some warm, rich food. But with the cool relaxing monsoon comes a bevy of ailments and infections, making it a season to stay double cautious about your diet.
“During rains, the first priority should be to boost immunity and save your body from possible infections,” says Lalitha Appukuttan, doctor and nutritionist.
Fruits and veggies should be a regular part of your diet, irrespective of the season. “But make sure that you don’t get cut fruits from street vendors. They cut the fruits and keep them for a very long time leaving them exposed to contaminated air. Go for fruits with a high vitamin C content and gooseberry is one perfect option,” she says.
During rains the grime and toxins present in the air get collected in leaves, making them more susceptible to disease-causing germs.
“During monsoon it’s not wise to have leafy vegetables, but not because of any inherent threat in them. It’s the dampness in the air that attracts dirt and germs. So you can limit vegetables like spinach, cabbage and drumstick leaves.”
Soups and sprouts are other ideal options during the season. “Sprouts are full of nourishment, easy to digest and contain very less calories. It’s a very healthy habit to take sprouts and it’s something you can do during other seasons as well,” says Dr Lalitha.
During rainy days our metabolism hits an all-time low, so make sure that you take food that are easy to digest. “You should avoid fried items and go for boiled and steamed variants. Lean meat like chicken is also good but taking light food will save you from a lot of gastronomical complications. Another idea is to incorporate more condiments like garlic, fenugreek, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric and pepper.”
It’s also a season to avoid seafood and synthetic drinks and indulge in anti-oxidant rich options like green tea. “Eat oodles of dry fruits and nuts to stay healthy. You can also add some ghee to your food,” she says.
You many not feel thirsty during rains, but you shouldn’t cut down on your water intake. And if you are down with any kind of infections have light and properly-cooked meals only. “Drink water and don’t stop because you are not thirsty. Keeping your body hydrated is very important when it comes to immunity,” she adds.
Dr Lalitha recommends chewing therapy to stay away from a string of health and gastro issues. “Every bite of your food should be chewed thirty to forty times. Each meal should take ten to 15 minutes because half the digestion takes place in your mouth. If you gulp down the food it will lose any chance to mix with salivary enzymes. When you retain food in your mouth for a specific time it helps digestion and prevents many digestion-related ailments. This also helps in fighting obesity and maintaining fitness,” she says.