When the scorching heat of summer is followed by the refreshing monsoon, it not just rejuvenates every living organism on the planet, but also brings along a host of diseases.
All of us, particularly kids and the elderly, are more prone to infections. Those suffering from ailments such as diabetes mellitus, heart diseases, rheumatism and lung infections/disease are more susceptible than others. Therefore, it is important to take good care of your health as well as diet during monsoon.
Here are 10 tips that would help you tide through this monsoon:
1. Keep yourself hydrated
You might wonder why you need to drink more water during monsoon. Here is the answer – In monsoon, sweat does not evaporate quickly as the humidity levels are high and this prevents the body from releasing heat. Therefore, keeping a bottle of water handy is always advisable. Avoid carbonated drinks as they reduce mineral levels which stop the enzymes from functioning efficiently resulting in indigestion. Instead drink warm beverages such as ginger tea. Always drink boiled and cooled water.
2. Have a balanced diet
As digestion during monsoon is slow, eat moderately and only when hungry. Eating when you are not hungry can lead to indigestion and sometimes to jaundice.
Vegetables such as bitter gourd, bitter herbs like neem and haldi (turmeric) are rich in antioxidants and the medicinal properties in them can help in preventing infections.
Make it a point to have fruits like cherries, bananas, apples, pomegranates, plums, litchis, pears and vegetables like carrots, radish and fenugreek a part of your regular diet. Spices such as pepper, asafoetida (hing), turmeric and coriander improve immunity and at the same time help in digestion.
3. Eat clean, fresh food
Make sure that you wash all your fruits and vegetables before consuming them, especially leafy vegetables. Steam the leafy vegetables and your cauliflower in order to kill the germs. Contaminated food might lead to illnesses such as jaundice.
Eating freshly cooked food is recommended. Soups and stews are helpful, as they are light and nutritious, but filling. Try and eat cooked food instead of uncooked vegetables and salads, unless they are organic.
4. Keep monsoon ailments at bay
Chasing away the mosquitoes during the monsoon is very important to keep malaria at bay. Stagnant water is a breeding place for mosquitoes.
Draining out those flower vases and coolers which are not in use is the first step in controlling mosquitoes from breeding. Next, use mosquito nets, repellents and creams available in the market to protect yourself from mosquito bites. You can also use camphor or cloves from you kitchen counter to keep away insects such as flies and termites during monsoon.
5. Eating out is a strict NO!
Eating out, especially street food should be avoided. Snacks like chaat, sandwiches, fried items, golas, juices and kulfis are very tempting during monsoon. However, they may contain bacteria which cause indigestion. Cut fruits sold on the road side are the main cause for food poisoning and should be avoided.
6. Avoid puddles
Avoid getting your feet wet. In case you do end up walking into one of those puddles, immediately clean and dry them with a soft, dry towel. Dampness can lead to fungal infections and athlete’s foot. These infections might affect your toes and nailsand if you are diabetic, you will have to take special care of your feet. Keep your shoes, socks and raincoats clean and dry at all times.
Using the fumes of dry neem leaves to dry your clothes is said to be helpful.
7. Exercise and rest during monsoon
The drizzles and showers during mornings and evenings might hamper your exercise routine. However, that can be taken care of by exercising at home. You can do a few simple stretch exercises, sit-ups, waist and knee bends in your drawing room to flex your muscles. Yoga is another method of exercise which can be performed indoors and it is known to help reduce respiratory problems during monsoon.
And if you are not in the mood for exercises, take up the cleaning of cupboards, shelves and your kitchen which you have been postponing. However, avoid excess physical exertion. Also, avoid sleeping duringdaytime.
8. Care for kids and elderly
Children love the rain and infections love children. Kids take maximum advantage of the evening showers on the way back from school. Hence, a hot water bath with a good dash of antiseptic is recommended. Avoid junk food which could lead to infections and repeated visits to the doctor. Homemade soups and stews will give them the required nutrition.
The other class of people who require special attention during monsoon are the elderly. Avoiding walks in the parks immediately after a downpour or in places where rainwater forms puddles is advisable. This might lead to falls on slippery areas leading to serious injuries. Also, try and stock medicines for at least a fortnight, just in case you cannot step out of the house due to rain.
9. Eye care during monsoon
Some of the common eye problems during monsoon are conjunctivitis, eye styes, dry eyes, corneal ulcers. Here are a few precautions with which you can avoid these infections from troubling you:
- Wash your hands after you touch your face or eyes.
- Do not share your eye medicines, contact lens solutions/containers, towels and handkerchiefs with others
- Avoid eye makeup when you have an infection
- Use an antibacterial lotion
- Try not to use your contact lenses when you have an infection
10. Clothes and footwear
Loose, cotton clothes are the best duringmonsoon. It is advisable to avoid jeans as they do not dry quickly. Also, use talcum/prickly heat power in areas which are more prone to fungal infections. Do not wear wet shoes as this might lead to more infections. Invest in another pair of shoes, so that you have an alternate pair handy. Avoid walking bare footed.
The bottomline: Enjoy when it pours, but do not forget to open an umbrella of precaution too.
Photograph via sxc.hu
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