The monsoon season brings with it the pleasant aroma of rain, the soothing sound of raindrops, and the indulgence in hot pakoras. However, it also poses a risk of various seasonal illnesses and an increased chance of falling sick. To protect yourself and stay healthy during this time, here are some important measures you can take.
The illnesses commonly associated with the monsoon season can be categorized into three main types: mosquito-borne infections, respiratory viral illnesses, and water- and food-borne infections or allergies. Mosquito breeding sites, such as stagnant water in puddles or pots, contribute to diseases like malaria and dengue. Wading through floodwaters also increases the risk of contracting leptospirosis. The humidity during this season enhances the transmission of respiratory viral illnesses, including influenza, and promotes the growth of molds and mites. Contaminated drinking water is another factor that leads to water-borne infections, causing abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, vomiting, and diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and jaundice. Skin infections like fungal dermatitis, scalp infection, and conjunctivitis are also common.
Fortunately, there are several preventive measures you can take to limit your exposure to pathogens during the monsoon season. Vaccinations are available for certain infections such as typhoid and influenza, so it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional regarding the appropriate vaccinations for you. To prevent mosquito-borne diseases, control mosquito breeding sites around your home, use nets and repellents, wear fully covered clothes, and screen windows at dusk. In the case of water and food-borne infections, consume boiled water, especially during the monsoon, and avoid eating uncooked or uncovered food when dining out. It is crucial to practice strict hand hygiene after using the toilet and before cooking or eating. Well-ventilated spaces and dehumidifiers can also help reduce allergies for some individuals.
Building your immunity is a long-term approach to preventing and fighting illnesses. This involves making lifestyle changes such as getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, maintaining a balanced diet, and incorporating probiotics and prebiotics for a healthy gut. Include foods rich in vitamin C, such as lemons, green and red bell peppers, leafy greens, and tomatoes, as well as foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like fatty fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and plant oils. Remember that building immunity takes time and consistent effort.
In addition to immunity-boosting lifestyle changes, you can also focus on consuming specific foods during the monsoon season to support your health. Fruits like apples, jamuns, litchi, plums, cherries, peaches, papayas, pears, and pomegranates are excellent choices. Incorporate garlic into your diet, choose curd over milk to avoid the risk of bad bacteria, and consider adding methi (fenugreek), bitter gourd, neem, and turmeric to prevent infections. It’s advisable to steam raw salads before consuming them during the rainy season. Opt for lighter oils like corn oil instead of sesame, peanut, or mustard oils, as the latter may invite infections. If you consume meat, opt for soups and stews instead of heavy curry dishes. For relief from infections and fever, you can prepare a decoction using ingredients like ginger, tulsi (holy basil), cloves, pepper, cinnamon, and cardamom. Finally, avoid pre-cut fruit, fried food, junk food, and street food completely, and if you’re prone to allergies, steer clear of spicy foods that increase body temperature and stimulate blood circulation, which can exacerbate allergies.
By following these preventive measures and making conscious choices about yourhealth and diet during the monsoon season, you can reduce the risk of falling ill and enjoy the rainy season to its fullest. Stay vigilant, maintain good hygiene practices, and prioritize your well-being. With proper care, you can navigate through the monsoon season with good health and a smile on your face.