While we enjoy the rains, nutritionists share with us some tips to keep us healthy and fit through the season
The beauty of nature gets multiplied every monsoon and we flock to popular and offbeat destinations to soak in the rains. However, what the season also brings along are countless diseases. A spike in water-borne diseases is a common phenomenon every year. Cold, cough, malaria, dengue, stomach infections, diarrhoea, fever, typhoid, pneumonia are just some of these.
As a precautionary measure, people generally avoid eating street food and drinking water at unknown places. Here are some tips you can follow to avoid the long queue at the doctor’s clinic.
Nutritionist Pooja Lodha, who specialises in diabetic nutrition, says, “It is crucial that we focus on the food that we consume. The best way to take care of health is by eating seasonal foods. The main reason people fall ill is because the food is not cooked right. During the rainy season, extra care should be taken while cooking. Most of the illnesses are a result of food that is not properly cooked and the bad quality of water used in it.
With the latest trend of salads catching up, Pooja has a word of caution for everyone who blindly follows it. “Eating salads does not mean you are eating healthy. In monsoon, avoid all types of raw food, even salad. Foods that are cut for a long time also should not be eaten,’’ she adds. According to Pooja, foods that are available at your local vegetable vendor are the ones that should be eaten. The locally grown foods are in accordance with the current weather and also our body requirements. In this season, vegetables like red pumpkin, bottle gourd, gawar, bhindi, palak and lal maath should be preferred. Among fruits, freshly cut fruits like apple, pear, banana, papaya and muskmelon are safe to consume as they grow in this season.
It is common knowledge among non-vegetarians that they should avoid eating fish during monsoon. The reasons are scientific as well as religious. Many believe that as the open sea is rough, the fishermen don’t venture out. Hence, the fish that is available during monsoon is not fresh but old catch. Some say it is the fish breeding season and it is best not to disturb them. Most people refrain from consuming non-vegetarian food due to the religious period of chaturmaas.
Nutritionists however say that it is okay to consume non-vegetarian food during monsoon as the weather is cold and the human body is in need of heat that meat provides. As the temperatures soar during summer, all kinds of non-vegetarian food should be skipped.
Pooja Rathod, a marine researcher and co-founder of Know Your Fish, a portal that provides information about the science and conservation of fisheries, says, “We have come up with a seafood calendar and one of the practices we want to encourage is to eat fish that is in season. Buying fish from local markets that are caught by local fishermen using less harmful methods are typically fresh. Eating of fish eggs, pregnant fish and sharks should be completely avoided,” she explains.