Eat healthy this rainy season

Eat healthy this rainy season

Introduce homemade soups into your meal plan. Add a hearty portion of vegetables when you prepare them

Introduce homemade soups into your meal plan. Add a hearty portion of vegetables while preparing it.

During such challenging times, confusing climate patterns add to health concerns. Nutrition and health experts suggest a diet high in fluids and packed with nutrients.

Pavithra N Raj, chief dietician, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Yeshwanthpur says four major components — protein, antioxidants, zinc and Vitamin D should be incorporated in one’s diet. While protein helps fight infection, antioxidants protect cells against free radicals and help protect against conditions like cold, cough and viral fever. Zinc helps build immunity, while vitamin D makes the nerves and bones strong.?

Dietician Ranjani Raman, founder of Nutrition Tattva, advises one to incorporate immunity boosters such as ginger, garlic, turmeric, cumin seeds and various herbs in their dishes. “Fruits and vegetables are mandatory as they provide necessary micronutrients. Vitamin C-rich fruits such as amla, oranges, kiwi, guavas and berries are preferred.”

Eat properly, stay hydrated

Lack of physical activity can affect health. Priyanka Rohatgi, chief clinical dietician of Apollo Hospitals, says, “Instead of cutting down meals, boost your immunity by eating light food.” Fear of contracting monsoon-connected illnesses, apart from Covid-19, does exists. “Cold, cough, hepatitis, malaria, dengue are infections connected with this season. As humidity increases, microbial growth can also increase, which leads to increased chances of food and waterborne diseases,” she explains. It is important to stay hydrated with herbal drinks, she adds.?

How to replace unhealthy food?

Avoid junk by snacking on nuts and oil seeds, which are rich in antioxidants, notes Priyanka.

You can also opt for tossed paneer, sundal or roasted channa. If you want to eat high-fat food or snacks like vada, consume in controlled portions and not as an everyday indulgence. “Follow it up with some lemon ginger tea,” she says.

For breakfast, all South Indian options such as idli, dosa, pongal, upma and uttapam are good. But avoid lapping up chutney. “Do not miss out on the sambar. Else have a glass of buttermilk, curd or some steamed sprouts along,” she says.

Lunch can include a glass of buttermilk or rasam, followed by a portion of salad, chapati and a half cup of rice, with items on the side like curd, dal and sambar. “Consuming more vegetables and dals helps boost immunity as one gets proteins, magnesium, iron, calcium, and the spices provide antioxidants in these dishes,” she says.

Ensure everything is freshly prepared. “Use yoghurts wherever possible. Even the simple curd made at home is rich in probiotic and can regulate the gut. For children, blend the yoghurt with some fruits to make smoothies, or mix some fruit pieces and serve chunky yoghurt,” she says.

Have an early dinner, at least two to three hours before retiring to bed. Introduce homemade soups into your meal plan. Add a hearty portion of vegetables while preparing it. At bedtime, a glass of turmeric milk is advised.

The moment you are half full, stop eating as food takes time to digest. Take a small stroll after a meal to add to your daily steps. Keep a target of 1,000 steps.?