Though summer showers are welcome, the rains also bring in a host of germs and other unwelcome disease carriers. The key to keeping diseases at bay during the rains is to maintain a high level of cleanliness and hygiene. With the monsoon just round the corner, a few tips on how to stay healthy and keep fit would not be out of place.
The cardinal rule is to cook food and preserve water in hygienic surroundings. Food and water kept uncovered are to be shunned. Ensure that water is boiled and cooled before it can be had. Even vegetables and rice ought to be washed only in clean water.
Apart from observing hygiene in one’s eating habits, it’s pertinent to keep one’s body clean and fresh too.
The cold weather calls for food prepared with wheat and pulses. It’s the best season to use thazhuthama (hogweed), thakara (oval shaped cassia) yam, beans and cheera in dishes prepared to meet the chill. Rasam, sambar, injicurry and all kinds of “karkidaka” kanji ought to be the flavour of the season.
Anything and everything prepared with rice, wheat and maize would be ideal. To keep blood pressure under control, it’s better to avoid food high in salt content.
Eat in moderation
The wet season hastens the appetite and eggs us on to have one mouthful too many. Keep a deliberate tab on what you eat and how much you eat. Avoid fried stuff.
Water is a must
The need for water goes for a toss once the cold season sweeps in. People fall back on their daily intake of water which is when trouble sets in. This is to be avoided at any cost. A normal body, devoid of ailments, ought to be kept hydrated with six to eight glasses of water a day. But the water has to be clan, preferably boiled and cooled. Allow the water to boil for over five minutes. Avoid transferring the water thus boiled into another vessel. Water boiled with coriander and jeera seeds or dry ginger would be as good as an elixir.
One can have healthy juices and fruit extracts during the season. However, see that it’s had as soon as it’s made and never have it with ice. Don’t refrigerate the juice or leave it standing for a long time. Soft drinks and those made with artificial coloring and flavoring agents are sure to invite trouble. For those lucky ones who are lactose-tolerant, a glass of warm milk would be the best drink for the day.
That one can down peg after peg on cold days is a misconception. This will not keep the body warm. Keep away from lazzi too. The long and short of it is that beverages and soft drinks that hasten water retention in the body are to be avoided at all costs.
Cut down on tea and coffee
Too many cups of coffee or tea are a strain to the body as a lot of fluid is lost in urination. This leaves one tired and dull. However, kaapi or coffee with coriander seeds, dry ginger or pepper revvs up one’s energy and boosts metabolism.
It’s veggie time!
Gorge on veggies, leaves, fruits and salads. Chappathis and wheat dosas are to be the staple diet of the season.
Seasonal fruits are to be made a part of every meal. Apples, pomegranates and mangoes bring on the energy. But avoid fruits full on water like watermelon while it rains. Avoid fruits that are overripe.
Let’s fall back on kanji
Let’s usher in the kanji days once again. Our special gruel or Kerala’s own rice soup gives one the right quantity of carbs. A bowl of kanji a day, preferably for dinner, would be an apt energy-booster.