What we choose to eat during monsoons decides how we feel - well and energetic or sleepy and lethargic. This is important because during this season, the humidity and heat can have an adverse effect on our digestive system. The humid weather also encourages rapid growth of bacteria and other infectious agents. During monsoon, our digestive system becomes slow and may lead to common symptoms like bloating, gas and indigestion that. in turn, make us feel; uncomfortable. Eating right food, the right way, can help avoid these problems and keep you healthy. Taking care of the digestive system during monsoon is also important because 70% of our immune system is in the digestive tract, and a strong digestive system will mean protection from infections.
Here Are 8 Must Dos We Must Follow During Monsoon Season:
1. Eat light small meals
Mainly because of the humidity, we tend to have lots of water and may skip eating healthy food. That is a bad idea. Eat light small meals more often rather than large meals. It will keep you energised and provide the nourishment needed. This will have a direct positive impact on your energy levels and mood.
2. Start With Spice-Infused Water
Ajwain is known for its ability to alleviate gas, bloating and indigestion. Saunf (or fennel seeds) help relax the digestive muscles, further easing constipation and stimulating digestive enzymes. Zeera is also known for its ability to stimulate digestion. One teaspoon of any one of these spices soaked overnight and boiled in the morning, is a good way to start the day.
3. Add Whole Grains
Yes, we need to focus on whole grains in monsoons! Their high fibre content means slow and sustained energy release keeping up the energy levels. They are rich in insoluble fibre which are prebiotic food for our gut bacteria. Pre biotic food helps the good bacteria thrive and a healthy micro biome means better digestion and good mood to.
4. Fermented Foods
Something as simple as dahi, idli, dosa, dhokla are great foods for monsoons as they add pro-biotics to our meals. The live bacteria have been proven to help maintain the integrity of our intestines, and hence, the immunity is improved, protecting us from common infections. Pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, tempeh, kombucha, are other fermented foods and drinks that will help keep the digestion on line.
5. Low Fructose Fruit
Apples, mangoes and pears are high in fructose sugars and are known to worsen the symptoms of gas and bloating. Low fructose fruits like citrus fruits, berries and banana are more suited for this weather. Banana also contains inulin which helps with the growth of good bacteria.
6. Avoid Sugary Drinks
Juices and sodas that contain high sugars also cause bloating and gas as the intestines are unable to handle the fructose overload. This also causes spikes in blood sugars and when taken very often can increase the risk of diabetes. Replace these with fresh lemon water, fresh coconut water, it is better digested especially in between meals. If very essential, then stick to a fresh fruit juice in small quantity occasionally.
7. Timing Of Meals
Timing is crucial, of course! The best eating window is between 7am and 9pm. Late breakfast, late dinner lead to a disruption of the digestive process. Eating at the same time daily helps stabilise hormones which has an overall beneficial effect on health.
(Also Read: 5 Herbal Teas to Calm Your Mind and Relieve Stress)
Regular exercise helps improve digestion. Yoga asanas help digestion. Vajraasana is the best post meal asana to improve digestion. Tai chi, an ancient art of exercising, involves a series of slow movements and deep breathing. It is beneficial for the whole body as well. Walking is the best exercise. 10-15 minutes of gentle walk post meals will help improve the digestive process.
Sometimes we need to listen to our body and monsoon is one such time. Take it easy and eat mindfully.
About Rupali DattaRupali Datta is a Clinical Nutritionist and has worked in leading corporate hospitals. She has created and lead teams of professionals to deliver clinical solutions for patients across all medical specialties including critical care. She is a member of the Indian Dietetic Association and Indian Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.