Discover valuable tips on food habits to avoid during the rainy season in India to protect yourself from illness. Learn how to make informed choices and stay healthy while enjoying the flavours of this beautiful season.
The rainy season brings relief from the scorching summer heat, but it also poses certain health risks, particularly when it comes to our food habits. During this time, the humidity and moisture in the air create an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. To stay healthy and prevent illness, it is crucial to pay attention to our diet and make informed choices. Let us discuss various food habits to avoid during the rainy season in India, ensuring you remain in good health while savouring the flavours of this beautiful season.
Avoid Street Food
While the tempting aroma of street food might be hard to resist, it is best to steer clear of it during the rainy season. Street food vendors often lack proper sanitation facilities, and the ingredients used may not be fresh or stored correctly. Consuming contaminated street food can lead to severe foodborne illnesses such as diarrhoea, cholera, and typhoid. Instead, opt for freshly cooked meals at home or in hygienic establishments.
Minimize Raw Vegetable Consumption
Raw vegetables, such as salads and chutneys, can be potential carriers of pathogens during the rainy season. Due to increased moisture, vegetables tend to get contaminated quickly and can harbor harmful bacteria. If you cannot resist eating raw vegetables, ensure they are thoroughly washed with clean water and preferably soaked in a mild saltwater solution for a few minutes to eliminate any potential pathogens.
Beware of Waterborne Diseases
Waterborne diseases are more prevalent during the monsoon season, and consuming contaminated water or food prepared with such water can lead to severe illnesses like gastroenteritis and hepatitis A. Avoid consuming unfiltered or untreated water, including ice cubes, and use boiled or purified water for cooking purposes. Additionally, be cautious when consuming beverages from outside and ensure they are prepared using safe water sources.
Say No to Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like spinach, lettuce, and coriander are commonly used in Indian cuisine, but they are prone to contamination during the rainy season. Bacteria and parasites tend to thrive on their leaves, which can lead to infections like gastroenteritis and even parasitic infestations. It is advisable to consume leafy greens that have been thoroughly washed, blanched, or cooked to minimise the risk of infections.
Reduce Seafood Intake
Seafood lovers need to exercise caution during the rainy season. Due to the unpredictable weather conditions, it becomes challenging to ensure the freshness and quality of seafood. Stale or improperly stored seafood can cause food poisoning and gastrointestinal issues. If you cannot resist indulging in seafood, make sure to purchase it from reliable sources and cook it thoroughly to kill any potential pathogens.
Be Cautious with Fermented Foods
Fermented foods like dosa batter, idli batter, and pickles are an integral part of Indian cuisine. However, the damp and humid weather during the monsoon season can lead to quick spoilage and microbial growth in these foods. Improperly fermented or contaminated fermented foods can cause stomach infections and food poisoning. It is crucial to prepare and store fermented foods hygienically and consume them when they are fresh.
Avoid Consuming Cut Fruits
Although consuming fruits is essential for maintaining a healthy diet, it is advisable to avoid consuming cut fruits from street vendors or unhygienic places during the rainy season. Cut fruits can easily get contaminated and become a breeding ground for bacteria. Opt for whole fruits that you can wash and peel yourself to ensure their cleanliness and safety.
Limit Consumption of Fried and Oily Foods
Indulging in fried and oily foods may seem comforting during the rainy season, but they can negatively impact your health. Such foods are heavy and difficult to digest, making you more susceptible to digestive issues. Additionally, the excess oil can lead to skin problems, especially for individuals prone to acne and oily skin. Choose healthier cooking methods like baking, grilling, or steaming, and include light and nutritious meals in your diet.
While the rainy season is a time of joy and rejuvenation, it is crucial to prioritize your health by being mindful of your food habits. By avoiding street food, minimizing raw vegetable consumption, ensuring the safety of water and seafood, being cautious with fermented foods, and limiting fried and oily foods, you can protect yourself from various illnesses that are prevalent during this season. Remember, staying healthy allows you to fully enjoy the beauty and flavours of the monsoon season in India.