The onset of monsoons brings much relief, but with rain showers comes the risk of infections and ill-health. The risk of being exposed to multiple viruses, bacteria, parasites and other infections is two times higher during the monsoon than in any other season.
The high moisture content in the air and water accumulation enables harmful microorganisms to thrive, leading to a number of health- related ailments. Usually the common monsoon diseases remain undetected until there is a major symptom or a big impact on the health of a person. Early diagnosis and a few preventive and hygiene measures can keep you stay safe during this season.
Strengthen your immunity
A person with a weak immune system gets infected easily. Have a balanced diet including fruits, vegetables and cereals. Drinking green tea can also help in strengthening your immunity. Monsoon is the perfect time for pathogens to thrive. This time of the year cases of viral fevers, bacterial, and other parasitic infections are rampant. A strong immune system guards our body against harmful infections and bacteria. The best way of strengthening immunity is by increasing intake of foods rich in Vitamin C, leafy vegetables, proteins like sprouts and soya, Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, Senior Consultant, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi told IANSlife.
His dietary recommendations: Add foods rich in Vitamin C and fibres to your diet. Due to high humidity during the rainy season, the body takes a longer time for digestion, therefore, it's best to have smaller meals rather than larger ones. To boost your immunity, include herbs and spices like ginger, garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, holy basil, etc, in your diet. Loaded with essential nutrients and antioxidants, these are useful for your overall health and wellness. Foods rich in minerals and iron like pulses and cereals should be key components of your diet during rainy season. You can have well-cooked sprouts, soya beans, corns, ragi, etc, in generous quantities.
Maintain personal hygiene
Take good care of yourself. Keep your skin dry and maintain personal hygiene. Moisture or dampness attracts the growth of infections that in turn weakens the immunity system.
During monsoons people feel less thirsty and hence this reduces their intake of water. However, the body needs the optimum intake of water, irrespective of the season. It's imperative to drink lots of purified water to curtail the risk of stomach-related ailments. You can also swap your morning cup of tea with herbal teas like ginger tea, chamomile tea, etc, which act as good immunity boosters.
Avoid having street food
Fruit and vegetables that are cut and sold on the roadsides should be strictly avoided. The road is usually filled with potholes full of water and mud. These form perfect incubators for various kinds of harmful microorganisms. Food items that are left exposed in the open air at the roadsides are likely become dwelling places for harmful infective organisms.
"Monsoon brings with it common infections like cold, viral infections, Gastritis, and other ailments like Hepatitis, Malaria, Dengue, Leptospirosis, Influenza, Typhoid etc. Since the humidity is high, microbial growth increases and so does the risk of infection. Most of these infections are food and water borne. Since children are carefree when they venture out, they are at greater risk of these food and water borne infections. Also, children and the elderly may have a weaker immune system, and thus their susceptibility to these infections also increases," adds Minal Shah, Senior Nutrition Therapist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund.
For a healthy monsoon, do not compromise on two essentials - adequate sleep and a regular exercise regimen.