With the rain comes the chill. With the chill, food cravings too! And guess what's next on the line? Its Illness.
Monsoon, for old folks was a time when they took good care of health, eating just the right food and drinking only warm liquids. The cold weather and drizzle call for a great deal of care in protecting the body and building resistance.
The biggest no-go is over-eating and binging on junk food. It’s a misconception that one can down anything when the weather turns cold. The cold adds spur to food cravings and people tend to eat and drink throughout the day. The cold season packs more energy than what’s actually required, which, in turn makes the body demand more food.
Monsoon is also the breeding time for all sorts of epidemics, contagious diseases and water-borne ailments. Cleanliness, especially personal, needs to be attended to. Be sure to have food that’s prepared under hygienic setups while eating out.
Cleanliness is all
The cold tends to shut down the immune system, making the body prone to diseases. Fevers, cough and cold, diarrhea, jaundice and typhoid are some of the common rain-time aliments. Add to this, the danger of fevers like dengue, chikungunya, H1N1 is also common. It’s also the time when those hit by asthma and arthritis take a severe beating. This is why cleanliness is of utmost importance during the season.
» Food prepared in unhygienic places invites big trouble. This holds good for the water, juices and drinks we down.
» Avoid food and water that’s too cold or have been left uncovered.
» Make sure you eat only food that’s hot and well-cooked.
Water is a must
As the weather is cold, the rate of sweating decreases. Hence, the need for water intake may be lowest. But, this again is a signal to drink more water even though you may not feel the urge to.
Drink only boiled water. Allow the water to boil for ten minutes. Preserve the water in the same vessel in which it’s boiled. Six to eight glasses are a must even in the cold weather.
Bye to tea and coffee
The cold does not justify coffee or tea breaks. Caffeine-infused drinks trigger the urge to urinate often, causing dehydration. This, instead of pepping you up, will make you more tired and groggy.
Say no to non-veg
Choose your meat and fish with caution during the wet season. Meat takes a longer time to digest. It's better to go for curry or gravy instead of fries if you are a die hard meat-eater. Say no to sinfully tasty and heavy stuff like paratha, biriyani, puri, fried rice and noodles.
Consuming eggs must be restricted to twice or thrice a week.
Bye to fries
It’s tempting to romance the rain, munching on chips, watching the tube. But the cold is no friend of one’s digestive system and the havoc wreaked by fried stuff on one’s food enzymes is grave indeed. Besides, with hardly any exercise, the fat gets accumulated in the body.
Eat your greens, beans, and leaves. Have seasonal fruits. Vegetables and fruits are easily digested. Refrain from buying fruits that show signs of decay or have fungi on them. Such fruits and vegetables can be carriers of diseases. A protein-rich diet is a must for the season. Leafy vegetables, chappathis and wheat-dosas are good for dinner. The common rice gruel or kanji is the season’s flavor. A kanji- green gram combo with grilled pappad qualifies to be a good monsoon meal. A plantain a day is another item on the rain menu.
What to drink
Fresh fruit juices are in for the season. But make sure that it is squeezed out under hygienic conditions. It's best to avoid ice as well as keeping the juices for longer hours in the fridge. A glass of warm milk is a healthy option.
A word of caution to the 'spirited.' A peg a day, to beat the monsoon blues is just a myth. Alcohol use will put you more often in the washroom as it hastens the urge for frequent urination. A lot of sodium is lost this way and it makes one tired and listless.
Courtesy : Dr B. Padmakumar
Head of the Department
Dept of Medicine
Govt Medical College, Kollam.