NEW DELHI: The monsoon brings respite from the sweltering heat but also triggers a lot of health-related issues, most of which are plain myths that have persisted over time, says an expert.
Richa Mattu, nutrition and health manager, South Asia, Hindustan Unilever Limited, shares tips to help wade through the rains:
Myth 1: One should not eat seafood/fish during monsoon
Fact: The primary reason behind this myth is that in monsoon, due to the rough seas and bad weather fishermen avoid going out to sea. Also, it is breeding season for these beings. So availability of fresh fish is scarce and a majority of the stock comes from frozen fish. Eating frozen fish or seafood that is not hygienically stored may end up giving you a stomach infection or even worse, food poisoning. But if you have access to fresh fish, don't worry and indulge by all means.
Myth 2: Eating curd in the rain makes you fall sick
Fact: Many believe, having curd in the monsoon season could prove to be harmful for the body because of the cool nature of the food. It is believed that foods that are warm in nature (for example: turmeric milk) work best for the immune system in the monsoon months. But curd contains 'good bacteria’ which helps in improving the digestive system, absorbing nutrients and improving the gut immunity. Curd helps to soothe stomach infections which make it a popular home remedy for diarrhea or food poisoning, a common complaint in the rains.
Myth 3: Chicken soup will speed up recovery from a cold
Fact: Hot soup is the perfect comfort food in the chilling rains. Hot soup also helps soothe a sore throat. Reducing inflammation with healthy food or liquids like soup will quickly reduce your symptoms and thus speeds up your recovery process.
Myth 4: Eating ice cream in the monsoon causes cold and cough
Fact: Cough and cold are mainly caused by viral or bacterial infection. Most ice creams undergo pasteurization, which stops the formation of illness-causing bacteria. Ice cream made or processed in unhygienic conditions may contain some infection causing micro-organisms. Products like Paddle Pop manufactured in hygienic condition which involves low temperature storage under -18 degree celsius and pasteurization does not allow any microbial growth.
Consuming cold food products do not lead to such problems unless they contain the germs responsible for causing these. Ice creams in the rain may be fun; but if you are not cautious you could fall sick. Avoid ice creams sold at open stalls and go for branded packaged ice cream. Make sure to check the expiry date.