Monsoon brings different memories to each of us. For some it is playing and running in the rain as children, for others sitting by the window with a hot cup of coffee or tea. For others, it means eating a plate full of pakoras or staying sick from the seasonal flu. While the monsoons have their own charm, it’s also a season of the year that brings various diseases with it. Here are the top 10 foods you should be consuming for better health during the monsoons:
1. Green peppercorns: Green peppercorns contain piperine, an alkaloid that has various health benefits. It also has a significant amount of vitamins C and K. Green peppercorns contain antioxidants that can help prevent serious illness by deactivating free radicals. Green peppercorns can reduce gas by stimulating the production of hydrochloric acid, which improves the digestion of food. It also has antimicrobial properties, which means it can reduce the risk of food poisoning by eliminating the bacteria that are responsible for foodborne diseases.
2. Fruits: Seasonal fruits like peaches, plums, cherries, jamun, pomegranate are packed with vitamins A and C, fiber and antioxidants. Avoid eating pre-cut fruits and juices from street vendors and stick to high quality freshly cut fruits and juices, preferably made at home.
3. Liquids: Add plenty of warm liquids like soup, masala tea, green tea, broth, dal, soups, etc. as they are good for rehydration and good for the immune system.
4. Vegetables: It is a season of pumpkins, such as Snake Gourd, Bottle Gourd, Indian Squash, Ridge Gourd, etc. Include pumpkin vegetables in various preparations such as Vegetables, Paratha, Soup, Raita, etc. Bacteria and viruses that can cause bacterial and viral infections.
5. Probiotics: Add probiotics like cottage cheese, buttermilk, kefir, and pickled vegetables to keep your gut flora healthy. These probiotics help promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut which will help fight off the bad bacteria or the disease-causing bacteria in the gut.
6. Proteins: Including healthy proteins in your meals will help boost immunity and aid in recovery from illness. Milk and dairy products, legumes like moong, dals, lentils, chole, rajma, soy, egg, and chicken are good sources of healthy protein.
7. Ginger and Garlic: Ginger and garlic help fight chills and fever, clear constipation, and have antiviral properties. They have anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antioxidant effects. Ginger tea can help relieve a sore throat. Crushed ginger or its extract can be added with honey for children from 1 year. It can be added to soups or in tea for the elderly. Garlic also has antimicrobial / antifungal properties and is an effective immune stimulant. It can be added to sauces, chutneys, soups, tea, etc.
8. Fenugreek seeds / methi: Fenugreek is an energy booster and contains all the minerals necessary to nourish our body even with fever and indigestion.
9. Turmeric: Turmeric has curcumin which has antioxidant, antimicrobial effects by inhibiting microbial growth like H. pylori, MRSA, etc., preventing stomach ulcers, improving immune response and antimalarial activity among other protective and preventive functions. Indian food has traditionally included turmeric in food preparation, but consumption of these foods will vary for various reasons, especially for children and older members. A teaspoon of turmeric as turmeric milk / latte, turmeric with honey or in hot water would be a good addition for children and older family members, especially during the monsoons.
10. Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that also have an immunomodulating effect. During the monsoons, when the risk of infection from food and water increases, increasing immunity would help combat these infections to some extent. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in food sources such as fish, shrimp, oysters, nuts, and oil seeds such as walnuts, pistachios, chia seeds, flax seeds, etc., and can be easily included in the diet.