Monsoons are refreshing times filled with the intoxicating fragrance of the rain, cool breeze, and cozy evenings. As beautiful as it may sound, the rainy season brings along a barrage of infections and other health problems. 

The increase in humidity during this season makes it easier for disease-causing microbes to grow and multiply. Thus, it is extremely important to maintain good health and monitor your body’s requirements as per the season’s demands. 

A healthy diet plays a major role in strengthening your immune system and help you fight against various disease-causing pathogens (bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites). 

Here are a few dietary tips that can help you stay healthy during the monsoons.

10 Dietary Tips For The Monsoons

These dietary tips can help you avoid falling prey to common food and water-borne diseases during the monsoons and maintain good health.

1. Avoid food with high water content. During monsoons, it is better to avoid food with high water content, such as cucumber, watermelon, and muskmelon, as they can cause swelling in the body. 

It is also advisable to avoid sour foods such as tamarind and lime as they can increase water retention in your body. 

2. Include seasonal fruits in your diet. Consuming seasonal fruits can provide you with the necessary nutrients during the season. Choose fruits that have low water content and are high in fiber. 

Seasonal fruits for monsoon include peach, pear, custard apple, and dragon fruit. Bananas and papaya are also a great choice of fruits.

3. Minimize the intake of salt. Monsoons make you crave hot, fried, and crispy food such as pakoras and samosas. These foods are generally high in their salt content. This can add to your regular salt intake and lead to various health problems. 

An increase in your salt intake can increase your risk of developing hypertension (an increase in your blood pressure) and thyroid problems. Thus, avoid foods that are high in salt during this season. 

4. Stay hydrated. It is common that you forget to drink water during the monsoons as you do not feel thirsty. However, it is necessary to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water in a day. 

Not drinking enough water can cause dehydration and can affect the proper functioning of your body. 

Also, make sure that you drink boiled or filtered water to avoid any infections through contaminated water. When you are outside, drink packaged water. 

5. Include anti-inflammatory foods. Anti-inflammatory foods help in boosting your immune system and prevent cell damage due to inflammation (excessive action by your immune system against foreign agents). 

These foods include berries, green leafy vegetables, walnuts, ginger, turmeric, and coconut oil, etc. 

These foods, when included in your daily diet, especially during the disease-prone monsoon season, can help to ward off various infections, gastrointestinal (relating to the stomach and intestines) diseases, thyroid problems, and heart diseases.

6. Limit the intake of spicy food. Most monsoon delicacies have a generous amount of chili, pepper, or hot sauces in them. 

Consuming a lot of spicy food can affect the normal functioning of your digestive system. It can cause indigestion, stomach bloating, and gas, leading to discomfort. 

Instead, opt for spices like turmeric, ginger, and garlic in your food, as these are anti-bacterial (an agent that destroys bacteria or inhibits their growth) and help in improving the functioning of your immune system.

7. Reduce the intake of dairy products. Dairy products can harbour germs and cause problems with digestion, such as gas buildup. These products can also get spoiled easily during the erratic temperatures of the monsoon season. 

If possible, limit or avoid milk and milk products during the rainy season.

8. Eat foods rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is known to boost the functioning of your immune system. An efficient immune system is all the more important during monsoons, when you are more susceptible to diseases. 

Thus, opt for vitamin C-rich foods such as citrus fruits, peppers, papaya, tomato, and strawberries this monsoon.

9. Avoid eating outside. The humid rainy season accelerates the growth of disease-causing pathogens. Avoid consuming food from street vendors or restaurants, as there is no guarantee of the quality of the food that is being served. 

Eating home-cooked food will help you avoid problems such as food poisoning (illness caused by food contaminated with pathogens) and diarrhoea. 

10. Cook your food well. Disease-causing pathogens are rampant during monsoons and can cling to the produce you bring home. Cooking your food at an adequate temperature helps in killing these pathogens. 

Further, fruit peels may also harbour pathogens and it is better to consume fruits whose peels can be removed. So, opt for fruits such as bananas, mangoes, oranges, and litchis.

Along with following the above-mentioned dietary tips, maintaining personal hygiene is also important during monsoon. 

Keep yourselves and your surroundings clean to prevent infections and to stay healthy. Enjoy the rains!

Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.