When the monsoons arrive, we all rejoice, as the rains are a pleasant respite from the summer heat. Once the rains start, we’re tempted to enjoy a few of our favourite monsoon foods like hot samosas and bhajiyas, and maybe even a cup or two of hot chocolate. Unfortunately, the monsoons also bring with them viral infections, a lowered immunity, and unhygienic food. Digestive diseases are rampant, and poor digestion can lead to a phenomenon known as cellular starvation, which lowers our metabolism and increases our fat storage. This lowered metabolism, coupled with snacking on fried foods and chocolate can be quite harmful to our bodies.
During the monsoons, it’s important that we continue with our weight loss and diet plans, and even if we can’t exercise outside, we can follow a monsoon diet that will help increase our immunity, and keep us disease free during this season.
Foods for Better Immunity
In general, the rainy season lowers our immunity systems, which makes us more susceptible to infections and diseases. This monsoon, let’s eat right. Here are a few foods to eat in the rainy season that will help boost your immunity:
1) Hot Soup: There’s nothing better than ending a particularly wet day with a lovely hot soup to warm us up. Soups keep the body hydrated, and also de-clog nasal passages by increasing the temperature of your airways, which helps in battling colds and flu. The spices used in soups can help suppress coughs, fever, pain, and they sometimes act as a mild sedative as well. Garlic in particular, adds a lovely taste to your soup, and also targets H. pylori, which causes ulcers and stomach cancers.
2) Fermented Food and Yoghurt: The good bacteria, or probiotics, present in yoghurt, and other fermented foods stimulates your immune response to fighting disease, which in turn boosts your immunity and promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Yoghurt especially is fortified with Vitamin D that helps your body resist cold and flu. Turn a cup of yoghurt into a dessert by adding your favourite fruits to it, or even add yoghurt to your shakes instead of milk for a tasty twist.
3) Dry Fruits and Nuts: Rich in minerals, vitamin E, riboflavin and niacin, dry fruits like almonds, dates and walnuts help in building your immunity. Apart from helping to keep your cells healthy, consuming nuts will also help you adapt and react to stress well. You can mix your nuts with some dried fruits to add a bit of sugar to your protein intake to keep your energy levels up.
4) Leafy Vegetables and Mushrooms: Packed with folate, antioxidants and fibre, leafy vegetables like spinach, cabbage and broccoli provide you with vitamins A, C, and E. These leafy veggies help in cell function and development, and can be incorporated in soups and salads. Also a great source of antioxidants, mushrooms are packed with vitamin B. They are a great source of proteins, and provide your body with all 17 essential amino acids.
5) Spices: The spices we use in our everyday food like turmeric (haldi), coriander, fenugreek (methi), mustard, cloves, cinnamon, asafoetida (hing), ginger, curry leaves, garlic and pepper all help in boosting immunity. They also help in general digestion and to clear congestion.
Staying Healthy in the Monsoons
One of the questions we often ask ourselves is how can we lose weight naturally? A combination of a good diet and regular exercise is one of the easiest ways to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, during the monsoon months it becomes quite difficult to exercise outdoors, and our healthy regimes are often abandoned.
This monsoon season, don’t let the rains dampen your resolve. Keep the weight off by signing up for Prettislim’s annual Fit for Life programme. The programme includes 12 4-in-1 U-Lipo sessions (1 per month), as well as daily slimming tips that are delivered to your phone inbox. The programme also puts you in touch with a slimming coach who will constantly motivate you to complete your daily fitness goals. This monsoon season, avoid the excuses, and stay fit with the Prettislim’s Fit for Life programme.