Contagious diseases, ranging from ordinary fever to Japanese encephalitis and rat fever, spread rapidly during the rains. Paying proper attention to your diet is also a part of preventive measures. Here are some guidelines:
What to eat during rainy season
Prepare food and drink in clean surroundings. Avoid eatables that are kept open for a long time and also those which have turned cold. Consume food only after heating them.
Clean water should be used not only for cooking but also for washing fruits, vegetables, rice and other ingredients of dishes. In addition, ensure personal hygiene during the monsoon.
Certain foods are beneficial to the body during these months. They include wheat, barley, ginger curry, the South Indian traditional soup ‘rasam’, the dish ‘sambar’ made with green gram, the Ayurvedic preparation of ‘Karkidaka kanji’, elephant yam, colocasia, long beans, the medicinal plants ‘Thazhuthama’ (Punarnava) and ‘Thakara’, and amaranthus.
Rice and wheat-based dishes as well as corn can be consumed. Keep away from salty eatables, which can cause hypertension and other health issues.
Refrain from excess food intake
There may be a tendency for excessive eating during the rains. However, exercise restraint. It is also preferable to avoid fried and roasted food.
Drink plenty of water
Many people do not feel thirst during the rainy season. However, you may put your health at risk by drinking less water. So consume plenty of water even when you are not thirsty. Healthy persons have to drink 6-8 glasses every day. But ensure that it is boiled water that has been cooled to room temperature. Another point to note is to store water in the same vessel that was used to boil it. Items like dried ginger and coriander seeds can be added while boiling the water.
Though fruit juices are beneficial during rains, do not add ice. It is better to drink juice fresh and never store it in refrigerator or outside for long.
Meanwhile, do not prefer soft drinks and artificial fruit juices as they could prove harmful.
Milk is a good option if you have no health issues. But ‘lassi’ can be avoided as it may lead to water retention in the body. Alcohol also needs to be shunned even though many people believe that it is good during the cold season and rains.
Tea and coffee
Some people have the habit of drinking tea and coffee several times during rains. This may lead to excessive water loss through urine, resulting in fatigue. These common beverages can be replaced with healthier options such as coriander coffee, dried ginger coffee and pepper coffee.
Include liberal quantities of vegetables, leaves and fruits in your daily diet. For supper, wheat ‘dosa’ or chapatis may be preferred.
Fruits ideal for the season include mango, apple and pomegranate. But fruits with high water content such as melons may be avoided. The fruits eaten should not have been stored for long or overripe.
The importance of rice gruel
‘Kanji’ or the rice gruel is a traditional dish of Kerala. Include this healthy preparation in the daily diet, at least once a day. The ideal time is supper.