Monsoon health guide: Rainproof your lifestyle with right diet
Monsoon showers do come as a relief but also bring with them health irritants like allergies, infections and indigestion. There's no need to panic, say experts, who suggest small variations in eating habits to keep problems at bay
The increased humidity in atmosphere takes a toll on the body's digestion. Some dietary changes can help sort this out. First and foremost, avoid oily food, says Ritika Samaddar, chief dietician at Delhi's Max Healthcare.
"Humidity levels are high during the monsoon because of which the capability of the body to digest is at its lowest. Digestion is generally weak. Therefore, avoid heavy and oily food during the monsoon season as it can lead to an upset stomach," Samaddar told IANS.
Experts say besides avoiding oily food, one should also keep away from street food.
Greater intake of green leafy vegetables builds immunity and is light on the stomach. But most vegetables and fruits also carry the risk of infection and, therefore, should be washed properly before use.
Fruits are the ideal food as they restore energy. But avoid watermelons and muskmelons and opt for mangoes, apples, pomegranates and pears, among others, experts say.
But excess of anything is harmful. Gorging too much on mangoes can lead to pimples, says nutritionist Rashmi Channana.
"Mangoes are not the only reason you get pimples and boils. This is also caused by the change of weather. But if mangoes are consumed in excess, then it can lead to pimples and boils," Channana told IANS.
Foods such as barley, brown rice and oats are the stomach's best friend during the monsoon season.
If a dash of garlic is added to soups, stir fries and curries, it also helps building the body's immunity.
The intake of dairy products should not be high as they have maximum propensity to get infected by germs.
Milk, said to be a complete diet, is not advised during the monsoon season. Instead one can go for curd, says Nidhi Yadav, head (Clinical Nutrition), Fortis Healthcare.
"One should have yogurt instead of milk and should add almonds to the diet. Also drink boiled and purified water during these days," she added.
The damp and humid weather leads to fungal and bacterial infection too. Medical practitioner Veena Sehgal warns against ignoring it as that could be an indication of dengue.
"People who face skin allergies during monsoon should not eat spicy food because spicy food stimulates the circulation and raises body temperature, which leads to skin irritation, allergies and diseases. If the problem persists, one should immediately go for a blood test," said Sehgal.
A lot of skin problems erupt due to humidity. The skin gets oily and is prone to bacterial infections. Other problems such as pyodera, boils, change in skin colour dullness, rashes and patchy skin also arise.
To avoid these skin expert Anil Kumar Chopra advises: "Drink more water during this season to quickly overcome skin problems."
"Use anti-bacterial soaps and face wash and talcum to keep your skin dry," he adds.
Dos and and don'ts suggested by experts for the monsoon season
* Go for green leafy vegetables
* Properly wash fruits and vegetables
* Eat barley, brown rice and oats
* Add garlic to soups, stir-fries and curries
* Avoid milk, have curd
* Drink more water
* Use anti-bacterial soap and face wash
* Use talcum powder to keep skin dry
* No oily food, street food or spicy food
* No watermelons or muskmelons
* Not too much of mangoes
* Intake of dairy products should not be high
* Don't ignore skin problems and allergies as this could be a sign of dengue