However, this year due to the external situation, disease and virus are not just limited to water-borne or monsoon specific illnesses, the deadly pandemic continues to cause global havoc. With extra caution, we have not only become mindful of our surroundings while outdoors but are also watchful of the food consumed. Immune-boosting foods have been emphasised to tackle monsoon woes, and also to build the body’s resistance in the long run.
While there is no such thing as a monsoon diet, prepare a fully stocked pantry with these common ingredients to secure good health in the coming months. Nutritionist Sheryl Salis suggests:
Corn: Corn is a staple favourite in the monsoon, whether as boiled or roasted, these yellow pearls when garnished with chilli powder, salt and lemon is a taste in heaven. Corn is easily available as a local delicacy during this season; it is also a great source of fibre, carbohydrates, and proteins. As a rich source of soluble and insoluble fibre, it helps in preventing constipation or digestive problems. The antioxidants in corn help prevent cancer and reduce the chances of heart problems and control blood pressure.
Cold-pressed virgin coconut oil (VCNO): Virgin coconut oil has been a staple in many Indian households; it is a superfood with health benefits such as weight management, helps improve immunity and boosts energy. The important MCFAs present in coconut oil is lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid. The function of monolaurin also found in coconut oil is an antiviral- that kills the virus by dissolving the protective lipids surrounding it. Making VCNO an excellent superfood that helps improve the immune system. It can be used in cooking, baking vegan desserts at home or even as a salad dressing or sautéing basic vegetables. It is also recommended to consume 2 teaspoons of virgin coconut oil every day for a healthy and energetic start to the day.
Groundnuts: These deliciously crunchy nuts have several health benefits that are often lesser-known. A rich source of minerals like copper, manganese, iron, etc., it boasts of healthy fat, protein and is low in carbohydrates. It has resveratrol which is present in wine, which not only provides protection to the heart but also prevents Alzheimer’s. Stock up on some groundnuts and boil them for a quick evening snack. Don’t shun them thinking they are high in calories, rather have them in moderation for a much-required energy boost.
Ginger: Whether it is infused in tea at your favourite roadside stall or prepared at home, adrak chai is an absolute favourite on a rainy day! Ginger has powerful antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties and therefore a great herb to incorporate in the diet. Ginger is used in Indian cuisine in every part of India. Studies suggest that ginger may effectively protect against respiratory tract infections, fungal infections and inflammatory diseases. Ginger can be added to your cup of morning water or tea to boost immunity. Prepare an easy immunity drink by adding ginger and lemon slices to infused water.
Stock your pantry with these monsoon essentials and bring back sweet memories of the rainy days. While you're at it, you'll be gifting yourself the nutritional benefits to stay healthy too. Lastly, do not forget to maintain hygiene by washing your hands regularly and keeping your surroundings clean.