Monsoon is the season when the seasonal flu, common cold, and other contagious diseases drive people to the hospital. Besides the COVID-19 pandemic, people are threatened by rat fever, dengue, and various kinds of viral infections. Following a healthy diet can boost the immunity of your body and keep certain diseases at bay.
Food and drinking water should be prepared and stored in a clean environment. It is better to avoid eating cold or leftover dishes or food that was kept open. Food must be properly reheated before consuming it. The water in which rice, vegetables, and fruits are washed, too, should be clean. Moreover, personal hygiene is as significant as eating clean and healthy food.
Wheat, barley, inji curry, rasam, sambar cooked with yellow split dal, yam, colocasia, thazhuthama (boerhaavia diffusa), thakara (senna tora leaves), spinach and the special Karkidakam kanji (herbal gruel) should be included in the monsoon diet. Snacks made with wheat, rice, and corn, too, are excellent during this season.
It is quite natural that you have cravings for food during the monsoon. However, food should be consumed in minimal quantity. It is better to avoid oil fried food.
Most people forget to drink water as you wouldn't feel as thirsty when it rains. However, it may affect the general health and well being of the body. Make sure to drink at least 6-8 glasses of clean water even if you are not thirsty. It is safer to drink boiled and cooled water during this season. The water should be rapidly boiled for 5-8 minutes. It is better to store the water in the same vessel in which it has been boiled. You could add some dried ginger or coriander for a refreshing flavour.
Juices are extremely refreshing during the monsoons as well. However, do not add ice in them. It is better not to store the juice in the refrigerator for too long. Soft or cold drinks in which artificial preservatives and colourants are added could ruin your health. You could have a glass of warm milk if you are healthy and are not on special diets. It is a misconception that alcohol would make you feel better during the cold climate. Drinks like lassi can be avoided for some time, as they may accumulate water in the body.
Tea and coffee
It may be refreshing to enjoy a cup of hot tea or coffee while watching the monsoon showers. However, drinking too much tea and coffee may lead to loss of excess water through urine. You could switch to healthier versions like coriander coffee, dried ginger coffee or pepper coffee during monsoon.
Fresh vegetables and green leaves should be strictly included in the monsoon menu. Wheat dosa or chapathi with a bowl of veggie salad or greens would make a light and healthy dinner.
Seasonal fruits like mangoes, pomegranate, and apples could be included in the menu. However, watery fruits like watermelon should be avoided. Try not to consume old fruits or the ones that are too ripe.
The good old kanji or rice gruel is touted as Kerala's own soup. It is lighter on the stomach and digests easily. It is better to enjoy a bowl of hot kanji for dinner.