American Academy For Yoga in Medicine

Rainy Season Diet: Eat Right and Avoid Germs

The monsoon season, with its refreshing rains, offers a welcome relief from the intense heat of summer. However, it also brings a host of challenges, particularly concerning health. The increased humidity creates an ideal environment for disease-causing microorganisms, leading to food infections and waterborne illnesses. Therefore, maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet is crucial during this time to keep your immune system strong and protect against various ailments. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what to eat and avoid during the monsoon season.

What to Eat During Monsoon

  1. Drink Clean Water 
    • Ensuring that you drink clean, filtered, or boiled water is essential. Contaminated water can cause severe stomach infections, diarrhea, and typhoid. It’s a good practice to boil water before drinking and carry your water bottle when stepping out.
  2. Stay Hydrated
    • Due to the high humidity and sweat during the monsoon, the body tends to lose more fluids. Drinking plenty of water, herbal teas, and masala chai made with spices like tulsi, ginger, and cardamom can help keep you hydrated and boost your immunity.
  3. Include Probiotics
    • Probiotics are beneficial for maintaining gut health and boosting the immune system. Add yogurt, buttermilk, cheese, kefir, kombucha, and soybeans to your diet. These foods contain good bacteria that aid digestion and enhance immunity.
  4. Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables
    • Consuming seasonal fruits like apples, pears, and pomegranates is beneficial as they help maintain energy levels and provide essential nutrients. Bitter gourd and fenugreek are good choices as they help keep infections at bay. Ensure that fruits and vegetables are thoroughly washed before consumption.
  5. Spices
    • Spices such as turmeric, black pepper, and clove are known for their antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Including these spices in your diet can help protect against infections and improve overall immunity. Adding a pinch of turmeric to milk can be particularly beneficial.
  6. Garlic and Turmeric
    • Garlic is excellent for boosting metabolism and enhancing immunity. Adding it to soups or curries can make a significant difference. As a natural antibiotic, turmeric helps prevent common monsoon illnesses like colds and coughs. Turmeric-infused milk is a great way to include this spice in your diet.
  7. Low Sodium Diet
    • During the monsoon, it is important to monitor your salt intake. High sodium levels can lead to water retention and elevated blood pressure. Avoid junk food and choose fresh vegetables, unsalted nuts, plain yogurt, and other natural low-sodium foods.
  8. Consume Light Food Items
    • The digestive system tends to be more sensitive during the monsoon. Light and easily digestible foods like fruits, vegetables, pulses, and rice are advisable. Using olive oil, ghee, or sunflower oil in cooking can also help maintain a healthy digestive system.
  9. Dry Foods
    • Dry foods such as corn, chickpeas, and oats are great choices during the monsoon. These help prevent bloating and swelling caused by consuming too many watery foods like watermelon and muskmelon.

What Not to Eat During Monsoon

  1. Spicy and Oily Foods
    • Avoid heavy, oily, and spicy foods like pakoras and samosas. These foods can slow down metabolism and lead to bloating and other digestive issues. The high humidity during the monsoon makes it harder for the stomach to process such foods efficiently.
  2. Leafy Greens
    • While leafy greens like spinach, cabbage, and cauliflower are typically healthy, they are best avoided during the monsoon. The moisture on the leaves can make them prone to spoilage and germ growth, increasing the risk of infections.
  3. Raw Vegetables
    • Due to dirt and moisture, raw vegetables can harbor bacteria and viruses. To avoid gastrointestinal problems, opt for steamed, boiled, or sautéed vegetables instead. Cooking vegetables thoroughly reduces the risk of infections.
  4. Street Food and Juices
    • Street food and juices from outside vendors are best avoided during the monsoon. These items are often prepared with unhygienic water, leading to stomach infections and other health issues. It’s safer to eat home-cooked meals and drink homemade juices.
  5. Seafood
    • Limit your seafood intake during the monsoon, as water contamination can make fish unsafe. Consuming seafood during this season increases the risk of diarrhea and other stomach-related issues. Freshwater fish and shellfish are particularly vulnerable to contamination.
  6. High-Sodium Foods
    • High-sodium foods such as chips, salted butter, cheese, and pickles should be avoided. These foods can contribute to water retention and hypertension, which can be problematic during monsoons when the body’s metabolism is slower.

Tips for a Healthy Monsoon Diet

  1. Boil Water
    • Always boil water before drinking to kill any bacteria or viruses that may be present. This simple step can prevent a host of waterborne diseases.
  2. Practice Good Hygiene
    • Wash your hands thoroughly before handling food, and ensure that all fruits and vegetables are washed properly before cooking. This reduces the risk of infections.
  3. Avoid Unhygienic Places
    • Try to avoid eating from unhygienic places and street vendors. Home-cooked meals are the safest option during the monsoon.
  4. Stay Away from Junk Food
    • Junk food can be particularly harmful during the monsoon, slowing digestion and leading to health issues. Stick to fresh, home-cooked meals to stay healthy.
  5. Include Herbal Teas
    • Herbal teas made with ginger, tulsi, and other spices can help boost immunity and keep you hydrated. They are also soothing and help with digestion.

By following these dietary guidelines, you can enjoy the monsoon season while keeping your health intact. Focus on staying hydrated, choosing the right foods, and avoiding potential health risks to make the most of this refreshing time of the year.


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