The monsoon season is always a welcome relief after a hot dry spell of summer. However, the rains also bring with them a multitude of health problems. And therefore, it is all the more important to follow some guidelines to avoid diseases and be healthy.
Follow these guidelines to remain safe and healthy during the monsoon season. Remember, prevention is better than cure.
Monsoon diseases are mostly waterborne; hence the first caution is about WATER.
Have boiled, bottled and purified water. Avoid water and ice that is not made from the above kind of water. Don’t drink beverages made other than from treated boiled water and do not add ice, even if they are not chilled to your liking. Avoid juices, buttermilk, lemon juice, etc, from street vendors. This also includes golas, kulfis, etc.
Food poisoning from E- coli, salmonella or other contaminants is common in this season..
Eat only well-cooked and hot food. Throw out food, which has a strange odour or mould. Eat raw fruits and vegetables only if you have washed them in purified water and peeled them yourself. Avoid salads outside as raw chopped ingredients spoil fast. Avoid raw seafood and shellfish; in fact avoid seafood this season.
Refuse all dairy products unless they have been properly pasteurised.
Use clean eggs with intact shells. Absolutely avoid raw eggs. Avoid cheese unless it has been refrigerated. Discard foods that are discoloured, moldy or decayed. Take care to see that foods from cans or packets that are leaking or bulging should be thrown.
FRUITS and VEGETABLES:
Avoid fresh fruits, which have been pre-cut or peeled and kept in the open. Mangoes should certainly be avoided once the monsoons start.
It is strongly recommended to be careful about leafy vegetables due to the presence of mud, dirt and worms. Take special care with vegetables that tend to contain more insects and worms like the cauliflower, cabbage, spinach and so on. Fruits like pears, peaches, plums, papayas and bananas are available in plenty and are tasty too. Wash well before consuming. Nuts and seeds too can be had in small quantities unlike in winter.
OTHER COMMON PRECAUTIONS:
- Take care that you eat a balanced and protein rich diet.
- Fried snacks seem really tempting in the monsoons but keep it in moderation once in a while.
- Fever is a serious health problem during the monsoon season and do not ignore it, if it lasts for more than two days. Remember prevention is better than cure.
- Choose grilled sandwiches instead of cold ones.
- Opt for hot foods like soup and cooked meals instead of cold and raw foods.
- Separate raw and cooked food both when preparing and storing.
- Foods on the street should be strictly avoided.
- Keep chopping blocks and worktops scrupulously clean.
- Cover all seeds and grains with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties during the monsoon. At the same time make sure to wash them well before consuming to avoid flatulence and discomfort.
- Keeps your hands clean at all times, especially while handling food.
- Meat should not be stored in the fridge above other foods so that it does not drip.
- Foods should not be kept without the lid as it attracts bugs.