The monsoon season is all about increased humidity and rainfall. It can not only make our skin oily and leave us with acne, but also have an impact on our digestive system. Digestive issues are quite common during the rainy season due to what we eat and drink. So, it is important to follow the right monsoon diet to keep your gut healthy and stop making diet mistakes!
To know all about gut problems and diet in monsoon, Health Shots reached out to Varsha Gorey, Clinical Nutritionist, Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai.
Causes of tummy problems during monsoon
Some people complain of having digestive issues during monsoon. Here are a few reasons:
1. Contaminated water and food
Monsoon rains can contaminate water sources and lead to the spread of waterborne diseases like typhoid and cholera. Consuming contaminated water or food can cause gastrointestinal infections, says Gorey.
2. Increased bacterial growth
The humid conditions during monsoon create the perfect environment for the growth of bacteria. Improper handling, storage or inadequate cooking of food can lead to bacterial infections, causing digestive issues.
3. Poor food hygiene
During monsoon, it is common to see people eating street food. But those street food stalls might not maintain proper hygiene practices such as hand washing or food storage. Consuming contaminated street food can contribute to digestive problems.
4. Reduced immunity
Changes in weather and fluctuating temperatures during monsoon can affect our immune system. An immune system that is compromised can make people more susceptible to infections, including those affecting the digestive tract, says the expert.
5. Increased consumption of fried and oily foods
People often crave hot and fried foods during the rainy season. When you eat too much of fried and oily foods, it can lead to indigestion, bloating, stomach discomfort, abdominal pain and acidity.
Monsoon diet mistakes to avoid
There are some diet mistakes that people often make during the monsoon season, which can ultimately contribute to gut problems.
1. Consuming contaminated food and water
One of the biggest mistakes is unknowingly consuming contaminated food and water. It is crucial to use potable water for drinking and cooking.
2. Overindulging in fried and oily foods
Having pakodas or samosas once in a while is okay. But many people overindulge in fried and oily foods during the monsoon season. Gorey says that these foods are not only high in unhealthy fats, but also heavy and difficult to digest. Excessive consumption can lead to indigestion, bloating, and other digestive discomforts.
3. Neglecting fruits and vegetables
Since street foods and fried snacks are found in abundance, people often neglect their intake of fruits and vegetables during monsoon. This can result in inadequate fiber and nutrient intake, affecting digestion and overall health. Including a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet can provide essential nutrients, antioxidants and dietary fiber, which are beneficial for gut health.
4. Ignoring food hygiene
Many people overlook this aspect and consume street food or eat at unhygienic food stalls. Lack of proper handwashing, contaminated utensils and unclean cooking conditions can introduce harmful bacteria and lead to digestive problems. It is crucial to prioritise food hygiene and opt for freshly cooked meals prepared in clean and hygienic environments.
5. Inadequate hydration
The weather might be cooler, but humidity levels are high. So, people might still lose fluids through perspiration. Failing to drink an adequate amount of water can lead to dehydration and affect digestion. It is important to stay hydrated by drinking enough water, herbal teas and fluids like soups to support optimal gut function, suggests the expert.
How to maintain gut health in monsoon?
For healthy monsoon diet, the expert suggests to focus on whole grains. Brown rice, oats and whole wheat bread are some of the healthy options. They provide dietary fiber, which aids digestion and promotes a healthy gut. Also, choose lean proteins like chicken, fish, legumes and tofu. Proteins are essential for tissue repair, immune function, and overall growth.
While you know what to include in your monsoon diet, make sure to manage portion sizes. Eating large meals can only put stress on your digestive system and lead to indigestion. So, when your body tells you to stop eating, pay attention.