Think monsoon, and images of piping hot tea and pakoras come rushing in. But, water dripping from rooftops, muddy puddles, damp and worst of all — infections — tend to ruin the general euphoric mood during this season. Monsoons also bring a deluge of myths especially regarding which food to consume or abstain from.
In this article, Chief Clinical Nutritionist, Sandhya Pandey of Fortis, Gurugram helps us bust some myths.
1. Never Eat Seafood During Monsoons
“Unless you stay in the coastal areas or close by, access to fresh seafood is a problem. One of the reasons behind this myth is that in monsoon, due to the rough seas and bad weather fishermen avoid going out to sea and therefore one may not get fresh catch.”
A majority of stock available in the market is frozen. “Consuming seafood that is not hygienically stored may adversely impact your stomach and also lead to infections,” says Sandhya.
If you have access to fresh seafood, worry not! Just ensure that it is cooked well.
2. Curd During Monsoons – A Big No-No!
“On the contrary, I would urge everyone to consume curd. It is the best source of natural probiotics – just what is needed for good gut health,” advises Sandhya. There is no correlation between a particular season and one consuming certain types of food. Given the humidity, moisture and temperature there is a higher chance of food getting contaminated faster and therefore it is even more important to ensure that your gut health is good.
“Please go ahead and consume yoghurt/curd during any season without even thinking about whether it will have a negative repercussion on your health. This will also ensure good immunity,” she says.
3. Green Leafy Vegetables – Stay Away!
“One of the reasons why green leafy vegetables are usually avoided during monsoons is because of the fear of germs on the vegetables,” says Sandhya. The only thing that we need to keep in mind is to always rinse all vegetables and fruits well.
“Wash the vegetables under running water and if you have a sensitive stomach, proceed to blanch the leafy vegetables to be doubly sure.”
4. Ice Cream and Monsoon don’t go Hand-in-Hand
“According to me, it is absolutely fine to have ice cream during the monsoons. In terms of nutrition, there is nothing in the ice candies, other than sugar. So I advise against consuming too many of those.”
She does caution against eating locally-made kulfi during monsoons because they may not be hygienically-made. “However, the ones of good quality should be fine,” she says.
What to Avoid:
- Raw foods
- Salad which has been cut and kept out for a long time
- Cooked food kept out for long. Ideally, try and consume freshly-cooked food
- Consuming very salty or heavy food may be difficult to digest
- Street food
Keep yourself hydrated and “Remember moderation is the key to a healthy life,” concludes Sandhya.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)