Diet and nutrition tips for monsoon
Frequent occurrence of diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery, malaria, intestinal helminthes, cough and fever can adversely affect your health in the monsoon season.
During the monsoon, your immune system is attacked by a number of infections and infestations that include:
Bacterial – Tuberculosis, infective diarrhea and cough
Viral – Fever, measles and common cold
Parasitic – Malaria, intestinal helmencis like hookworm and ascarasis interfere with the absorption of nutrients by the body.
The following food safety guidelines help you remain healthy during monsoon
· Always boil water before use and store it in a covered container.
· Use long handle mugs to avoid hand contact with water while fetching water.
· Drink enough water at safe places like home or office so as to avoid thirst and the need to drink water outside.
· In unavoidable circumstances drink coconut water or tetra packed drinks.
Selection of foods
· Avoid buying/eating cut fruits and cut vegetables from outside vendors.
· Avoid eating fruits with strong smells like jackfruit, targola, jamun etc. Smelly fruits attract flies which carry infectious substances.
· Avoid drinking fruit juices, yogurt, buttermilk, lassie, sugar cane juice and eating sprouts, srikhand or green chutney from vendors.
· Whenever you eat in restaurants, avoid eating green leafy vegetables like palak paneer etc because you are not sure they are cleaned properly. Instead order for beans and other seasonal vegetable sabji.
· While traveling if you are hungry, instead of eating samosa, golgappa, vada pav, etc. go for bhunna channa, home made chikki, ladoo or whole fruits.
· Don’t purchase vegetables in bulk. Buy only what’s required on alternate days to stock fresh vegetables.
· Enhance immunity by eating more green leafy vegetables, whole fruits, foods rich in antioxidants, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, Zinc and B12, B6 and folic acid.
Healthy cooking methods
· Wash all vegetables (especially green leafy vegetables) with potassium permanganate before cutting.
· Don’t cut vegetables into small pieces, chop into medium size pieces to avoid loss of nutrients. Don’t soak vegetables in water after cutting.
· Keep your body light by eating balanced breakfast. Remove body toxins by drinking tulsi water, lukewarm water and barley water.
· Cook only the required quantity of food and consume at the earliest. Cooked foods easily get contaminated than uncooked raw vegetables.
· Avoid frequent and repeated heating of food items.
· Avoid eating half boiled non-veg, eggs etc.
· Avoid eating raw vegetable salads, instead consume sauteed vegetable salads or steamed vegetables.
· Avoid eating mushrooms and sprouts prepared more than a day ago, which increases chances of food poisoning.
· Food grains like legume, oil seeds stored in humid atmosphere are infected by pathogenic fungus so closely inspect before use.
· Keep all eatables, cooked and uncooked vegetables fully covered and store separately.
· Thoroughly clean your refrigerator to avoid formation of fungus which may spread to food items stored in it. If food items are shrinking or loosing their freshness, don’t use them.
Hygiene and sanitation
· When you get back home after work, wash your legs and hands immediately with disinfectant solutions.
· Wear slippers/chappals when using bathroom/toilet.
· Put 2 tsp of salt in very hot water and clean toilet bowls, wash basins, kitchen sinks every 3 days. This will prevent formation of bacteria in these areas.
· Wash utensils immediately after eating.
· Keep your shoes, socks, raincoats, bed sheets and pillows dry and clean.
Dr. Nupur Krishnan
The author is a leading nutrition expert with a decade of proven experience in Preventive and Clinical Nutrition therapies on heart attack, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, stroke, blood pressure, thyroid and kidney disorders.
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